The Need for Sunscreen
Do you remember the summers during your high school years? How many times did you slather on baby oil or even head outdoors without anything on your skin and then just bake in the sun? If you are like most teenagers of the past few decades, you probably said that several times every year you went ahead and soaked up the rays.
Did you know that you did damage that will start showing up many, many years later? People in their 40s and 50s are those who admit to basking in the sun during their teens and twenties, and it is those experiences that caused the harm.
Sunscreen is Essential
What kind of harm? Just consider that unprotected exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun can:
- Prematurely age the skin;
- It can lead to fine veins and uneven pigmentation;
- It will cause brown spots or discolouration;
- It will deplete your body of nutrients; and
- It can lead to many kinds of skin cancer.
Though we do benefit from a bit of exposure to the sun each day as this is how the body can self-generate necessary amounts of Vitamin D, it is a much wiser idea to get this vitamin through dietary sources alone. Foods like eggs, milk, or liver can give you adequate amounts with a single serving.
Exposure to the sun without the benefit of sunscreen, however, will not help the body. Instead, in only 45 minutes of time the sun can actually deplete around 80% of the body’s store of vitamins – particularly E and C.
Sunscreen as Anti-Aging Warrior
Of course, most people want to avoid the sun for those two most important reasons – to cut down on premature aging in the skin and to eliminate or reduce the risks for cancer. Let’s look first at that aging issue.
Over time the skin is going to change no matter the amount of exposure to sunlight. However, every bit of exposure to the sun is going to damage something known as elastin. In our “young skin” it is in abundance and is what keeps skin tight and firm. When these fibers are destroyed by the ultraviolet rays of the sun, we lose that resilient skin and start to sag and wrinkle.
So, those summer days as a teenager may have given you a “hot” glow for a return to school or a “healthy” complexion from a vacation, but it will have also caused you to sprout a few wrinkles a lot earlier than you would like.
Naturally, a few wrinkles are nothing when the subject of cancer is mentioned.
Sunscreen and Cancer
The most recognized form of cancer caused by sun exposure is “melanoma”. The freckles we see after sunburn or a long tanning session are an indicator that we may be even more likely to develop this type of cancer too.
The important factor to remember is that melanoma often shows up on the soles of the feet. This means that it doesn’t mean that it is the area where you are burnt that is going to show the signs of trouble. It is simply that damaging the skin exposes the body to all kinds of risks and possibilities for different systemic failures.
Do yourself, and your children or friends, a huge favour and forbid them from heading out into the sun. There is no such thing as a healthy sun tan, and the rapid increase in skin cancer rates stands as the firmest evidence that this is the truth. Instead, apply moisturisers with a good protection, use sunscreen “head to toe” and make sure that your skin remains fit and free of damage!
Discovery Fit and Health. Skin Cancer Q & A.