Although it’s technically not summer just yet, it surely feels like it already. While COVID-19 kept everyone indoors for most of spring, people across the country are determined to be outside for summer. Understandably so, whether you call Illinois or Texas home, summer means getting back to some of your favorite activities. Regardless of how you spend your time in the sunshine, you should always do so safely. This means protecting your skin from sun damage and keeping yourself hydrated while outdoors. The global pandemic we are facing should not distract us from other health concerns such as skin cancer. This post will go over ways for people to protect their skin from sun damage.
The Importance Of Preventing Skin Cancer
One of your most important organs is your skin. Yes, your skin counts as an organ, and just like your other organs, it serves a very important purpose. Your skin protects your insides from pretty much everything, serving as a first line of defense. So, knowing how vital your skin is to your health, shouldn’t you do everything you can to protect it? Of course you should, because skin left unchecked could lead to devastating disease such as skin cancer. Consider the information below should help you understand how important it is to protect your skin. And if you suspect you have a growth on your skin, seek a medical professional just in case.
As found on the National Cancer Institute’s web page, melanoma, a common form of skin cancer, will affect 2.3 percent of people in their lifetime. However, the five year survival rate from time of diagnosis is slightly over 92 percent. While the rate of survival is high, you take preventative measures against melanoma and other skin cancers.
Although it is true that lighter skin tones tend to be diagnosed with skin cancer, people with darker skin tones are still at risk. In fact by comparison, white Americans are 20 times more likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer. Yet diagnosis for black Americans are 4 times more likely to be at late stage kin cancer. In contrast, white Americans have a 94 percent year survival rate compared to a 69 percent rate for black Americans.
Prevention And Protection Practices
If you plan on being outdoors, there are three easy ways to protect your skin from the sun. The first way to protect your skin from the sun is to use sunscreen. Applying a generous amount of sunscreen about 20 minutes before stepping into the sunlight helps prevent sunburn. After a few hours or if you went into water, you should reapply sunscreen.
The SPF rating on sunscreen denotes the level of protection, so higher numbers equal increased protection. Depending on your skin sensitivity, you should choose sunscreen with SPF higher than 30. Remember that although sunscreen helps prevent sun burn and damage to your skin, you should do other things as well.
The other two ways to protect your skin from damaging sun rays are not ideal. If you have burnt skin, or if you are noticing your skin reaching a dark shade, throw clothes on. Although the thought of a shirt, pants or other clothing seems unbearable in the heat, light clothing can offer protection. Of course, the best way to protect yourself from the sun is to avoid it altogether, but after quarantine, that’s unlikely. Instead, seek shade when possible, use sunscreen while in the sun light, or use light clothing to help prevent skin cancer.