Sun Exposure First Med Urgent Care

Sun Exposure Myths Revealed in Time for Summer: Part 2

First Med Urgent Care: Sun exposure

As we get into the heat of the summer and continue more and more outdoor activities, we are forced to evaluate the long-term effects this sun exposure has on our skin. As we have established, times have changed since our ancestors did all they could to stay fair. Our society exhibits beauty through tan skin, so we spend hours basking without a second thought of future ramifications. We are not here to pass judgement if you do enjoy the feelings that accompanies sun exposure, but just be aware of the common misnomers associates with your favorite summer pastime.

Last week we talked about Sun Exposure Myth #1, which was the misunderstanding that base tans will protect us from the sun’s damaging rays, and Sun Exposure Myth #2 that applying sunscreen once will do the trick. We revealed the truth behind these myths.

Let’s take a look at a few more:

Sun Exposure #3: Tanning Beds are a safe alternative to tanning

Studies are showing that skin cancer from indoor tanning is more common than lung cancer from smoking. Indoor tanners are “74% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors (Skin Cancer Foundation 2014).”

Sun Exposure #4: I have naturally dark skin, so I am safe from skin damage.

While darker skin carries a naturally higher protection than lighter skin, darker skinned individuals are not completely in the clear and are still susceptible to skin damage from the sun. Sunscreen is still highly recommended.

Sun Exposure # 5: I can’t get a sunburn on a cloudy day.

One full day of playing outside on a cloudy day without sunscreen will show you just how false this statement is. Cloud coverage does not block or prevent UVB or UVA rays from penetrating your skin. In fact, you are more likely to be burned on a cloudy day for several reason. First of all, on an overcast day, individuals are more likely to extend their outside activities without the application of sunscreen. Secondly, if your chosen activity is centered around water or sand, the suns rays are being reflected by 85%, so continual reapplication of sunscreen is incredibly necessary and beneficial to the health of your skin.

Ignorance is not bliss and prevention is the key. While we may not be able to fix any damage already done, we can move forward and do all we can to safe-guard our skin from here on out.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). The Burning Truth: A Base Tan Is Not a Safe Tan. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/burningtruth/base_tan_not_safe_tan.htm

Skin Cancer Foundation. (2014). Tanning Is Not Part of a Healthy Lifestyle. Retrieved from http://www.skincancer.org/healthy-lifestyle/tanning