Be safe in the sun!
Sun Exposure, Sunburn and Skin Cancer
Sunlight is the main source of UV radiation. UV radiation ages the skin, causes sunburns, and increases the risk of skin cancer. Cumulative sun exposure causes basal call and squamous cell skin cancers. These are the most common type of cancer. In the United States, about 3.3 million people will get non-melanoma skin cancer this year. Episodes of severe sunburns increase the risk of developing melanoma. Melanoma is a less common form of skin cancer, but it is more deadly.
Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun
Limit your UV exposure by avoiding being in direct sunlight for too long. Stay inside or in the shade between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun’s rays are strongest. Protect your skin by covering up with clothing, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher for the best protection. The SPF number tells you how much protection the sunscreen has against UVB rays, which are the main cause of sunburn. Broad spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the main cause of skin aging and wrinkling. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer. There is not a rating for UVA protection, but look for ingredients like avobenzone, ecamsule, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Water resistant sunscreen stays effective after 40 minutes in water and very water resistant sunscreen stays effective for 80 minutes. Apply at least 1 ounce of sunscreen and remember to re-apply after swimming, sweating, toweling-off, or at least every 2 hours. Martin’s Wellness
locations have a wide variety of sunscreens, so stop by and stock up!
Jillian Blackwell, pharmacist intern
Angela Solis, clinical pharmacist
1. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2016. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2016.