Students: Frying is for skillets, not your skin

A bottle of sunscreen

Rosie Schrag | Washtenaw Voice

BY JENELLE FRANKLIN

Suncare is an important issue; one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence doubles the risk of melanoma later in life; five sunburns by any age doubles the risk as well, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

SCF notes that the higher risk persons, “generally have blond or red hair, blue or hazel eyes, burn easily and tan minimally or not at all. People with many moles or any large, atypical moles are also at higher risk.”

Sunscreen application helps prevent dyspigmentation, which is uneven color changes in skin pigmentation that affects all skin tones and races.

Sunscreens are available as: lotions, gels, sprays, wipes, lip balms, cosmetics and more.

Sunscreen should not be forgotten on cloudy days, as 70-80 percent of long-ultraviolet rays still make their way to Earth. Water, sand, concrete and snow multiply the UV rays up to 80 percent, according to the World Health Organization.

Sun protection “is particularly important between the hours of 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., when UV light is strongest,” according to the American Cancer Society.

The sun’s rays become strong in the springtime, so before Michiganders feel the heat of the sun’s effects they are experiencing them while doing things like driving or yard work.

ACS advises to read the label of sunscreen and select one with broad spectrum UV coverage and for both UVA and UVB rays, along with a sun protection factor of 30 or greater.

SPF 30 is said to have enough protection to allow only one minute of damage for every 30 minutes outside, the ACS says, “One hour in the sun wearing SPF 30 sunscreen is the same as spending two minutes totally unprotected.”

Some people, while taking certain medications, have a photosensitive reaction they would not normally experience from being in the sun. These medications include antibiotics, NSAIDS, diuretics and more.

After sun exposure, it is essential to nourish the damaged skin. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Dermatology:

  • Put a cold, damp towel on your skin. Do this for 10 or 15 minutes a few times every day.
  • Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to help soothe sunburned skin.
  • Drink extra water
  • Leave blisters alone. If your skin blisters, don’t pop them because that makes the sunburn worse.
  • Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals.
  • Ibuprofen- if the sunburn really hurts. This will help reduce any swelling, redness and discomfort.

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