You go into the linen closet and right next to your pool towels is a very impressive collection of leftover sunscreen from last year. As summer approaches, you start dipping your toe into the pool each day to see if it’s warm enough; as soon as it is, you’ll be spending mornings, afternoons and evenings poolside. That collection of sunscreen will be put to good use on little ones and you may even consider putting some on yourself.
There are a few things you already know about sun protection:
- If you stay in the sun too long without protection, you’ll get a sunburn.
- The higher the SPF number, the more protection you have.
- Some sunscreens are water resistant and some are not.
- You have a preference for the feel of a particular sunscreen.
All of the above are fairly common knowledge, however there are additional items you should add to this bullet list. You can protect yourself, your little ones and those around you from the risk of undesired skin conditions and even skin cancer by learning a little more about sun protection.
Professionals Who Work Indoors Continue to Be Treated for Skin Conditions Including Skin Cancer
Though the need for sun protection is heightened during outdoor summer activities, your skin is always impacted by the sun. Sun exposure isn’t limited to prolonged outdoor activities; clinicians continue to treat men and women who work the majority of their lives indoors for precancerous skin conditions, as well as skin cancer itself.
Sun exposure is happening during the 15 minute walk to your office in the morning, 30 minute walk at lunch and 15 minute walk to your car in the afternoon.
Clothing will provide protection for certain areas, but your hands, face and maybe even your legs are being exposed – a little exposure here and there can produce a disease that most people believe only comes with prolonged sun exposure.
You don’t necessarily need to carry a personal stash of sunscreen on you at all times. There are lotions that contain sun blocking abilities as well as oral medications that can reduce the impact the sun has on your skin. Being aware of when the sun is hitting your skin means that you can protect yourself through means you make available to yourself at any given time.
What SPF You Need to Be Wearing
Adults with children will typically reserve the higher SPF (sun protection factor) sunscreen for a child’s young skin and use the lower SPF on themselves. The truth is adults need skin protection just like children do, and the higher the SPF the more protection you have, both immediately and in the future.
SPF does not refer to a particular scientific rating, but rather is simply a gauge to weigh one product’s sun-blocking ability versus another. While the ingredients from one brand may vary compared to another, any product rated SPF 15 will offer half as much protection as a SPF 30 – regardless of how it arrives at that number.
While higher SPF offers more protection, the bottom line is wearing some sort of protection is always better than wearing no protection. The reason we don’t wear sunscreen is because of the way it feels. It will have a greasy or filmy texture that doesn’t feel good on the skin. Rather than foregoing protection altogether, try out different brands or blends of sun protection.
Being a Bronze God Today Will Produce A Leathery Texture Tomorrow
For centuries a sign of wealth was a paleness of skin. Those who were laborers would develop a tan while those of higher status would remain indoors, protected from the sun. In the 1920s, with tuberculous being the leading cause of death in parts of the globe, doctors and health practitioners began prescribing sun exposure as a form of treatment, leading to the origins of the tan.
Today, tanning is less of a status symbol and more of a cosmetic preference. Whether it is achieved by direct sunlight or artificial means, tanning is popular – and indoor tanning has become a multi-billion dollar industry.
Tanning leaves a glow that many eyes will appreciate, but below the surface the skin is also being imprinted. Cosmetically, tanning doesn’t result in younger looking skin – it is actually aging the skin more rapidly underneath a sheen of color.
Young people tend to believe they are bulletproof and the damage done to the DNA and tissue is an afterthought. Those who are older tend to pay attention to the lasting impact because they understand that damaged DNA leads to uncontrolled cell growth – in other words, cancer.
While cancer is a scary word, skin cancer in many cases can be avoided. Protecting your skin through clothing, sunscreen, limited sun exposure and avoiding UV tanning is the natural prescription for preserving your skin’s health and limiting your susceptibility to disease and illness.
Noticing Changes In Your Skin – Even Slight Changes
No matter the condition of your skin today, you will recognize changes in the color or texture, that is a sign to immediately schedule a visit with your provider. Your skin history is more of an afterthought and treating your current condition is what matters.
Our providers at Warner Family Practice are all equipped and trained to help assess your skin’s current health and treat whatever current conditions you may be experiencing. Practicing preventative care as mentioned in this article is always our preference. When the need for other treatment arises, our facility is prepared with the staff and technology to begin the process of restoring your skin and your health so you can continue to live a long and healthy life.
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