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article imageHow to enjoy the sun but avoid skin cancer risks

By Tim Sandle     Aug 24, 2016 in Health
As the sun continues to shine down intensely over the northern hemisphere renewed concerns have arisen about skin cancer risks. A German company has recently reiterated best practices for keeping safe during the summer.
Some exposure to the sun does not cause harm to most people and it can often deliver benefits, both psychological and physical (such as boosting vitamin D levels). However too much exposure to the sun carries risks. These include becoming sunburnt (often through the misapplication of sunscreen lotion or forgoing it altogether); dehydration; or suffering with a “sun hangover.” The so-called sun hangover refers to an an inflammatory response which generally occurs the day after someone has spent a long time soaking up the rays. The effects include feeling sluggish, nausea and suffering with aching muscles.
Despite health warnings, many people seek suntans, and a tan has become symbolic of "health" and perhaps social status. Seeking to minimize the risks from too much sun, Derma.plus, who specialize in sun burn treatment, commissioned a survey based on the "Skin Cancer Susceptibility Index." The index analysed the ultraviolet light levels, skin-tone presented by demographic percentages and geographical patterns. This produced a pattern of where the highest rates of skin cancer are most likely to occur.
Dr Doris Day (@DrDorisDay) "if you're exercising outdoors be sun smart or you'll increase your risk of skin cancer!"
Coming in at number one for skin cancer cases is New Zealand, followed by Australia and Switzerland. The U.S. is at #9 and the U.K. at #10, with Canada at #19.
With ways to address skin cancer and promote sun safety, the authors of the study recommend:
1. Wear practical clothing.
Wearing sensible clothing helps to minimize the impact of solar radiation. In addition, loose fitting clothing helps with ventilation. It is also important, when near water, to be aware that the reflection of the sun on water can be greater, in terms of burn risk, than direct exposure.
2. Use adequate sun protection
Sunscreen is a useful way to protect the skin, but a high sun protection factor must be used. In addition, an adult should use 30-40 milliliters of sunscreen for the whole body. A note should be made of when the sunscreen needs to be reapplied.
NHS in Bristol (@Bristol_CCG) "Excessive sun exposure leaves you at a higher risk of skin cancer in later life #CoverUpMate."
3. Allow skin to acclimatize
If a person's skin is not used to hot weather exposure should be gradual and for a limited time. This reduces the risk of shock.
4. Avoid sun beds
Sunbeds are not good for anyone and involve the exposure of the skin to direct ultraviolet light. There is a skin cancer risk.
5. Take special precautions with children
Sunscreen should not be used on babies under six months and there should be minimal use for those under two year's old. It is better practice to protect children from the sun using clothing, hats and umbrellas.
More about Suntan, Sun, Skin, Cancer, Skin cancer
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