Sunscreen, Sun Burns and Sun Risk Factors
by GamerFitnation on June 11, 2014 at 11:23 AM EDT

sunscreen

By Kyle Swain

Summer is fast approaching and that means most of us are outside more than usual. But it also means there is a need for sunscreen with the  increased risk of sunburns and other complications.  Recently published data from the American Association for Cancer Research deems that at least 5 sunburns as a teenager that have resulted in a blister increased the chance of developing melanoma as an adult. Those in their teens should be particularly mindful of their sun exposure, but those of us past that stage of life should still be mindful. Sunburns later in life can still increase the risk of skin cancer, even if not as much as when we were younger.

Sunscreen Basics

 

sunscreem

In order to combat skin damage from being in the sun, it is important to use sunscreen when participating in outdoor activities.  However, it isn’t as easy as just using a sunscreen with a high SPF value.  SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is the multiplier for how long it would take for you to burn from Ultraviolet B Rays or UVB.  For instance, it would take you 15 minutes to burn without sunscreen, but with an SPF of 20 it will takes 300 minutes for the same burn to occur.  Ultra Violet A Rays or UVA penetrate the skin deeper and cause damage to more than superficial layers of skin.  The two different types of UV rays mean you always want to purchase broad spectrum sunscreen, which will protect you from both.

So now you have your SPF 50 broad spectrum sunscreen and you are set for the day right? Actually it isn’t quite so simple.  In order to be effective the minute you walk out the door, skincancer.org  suggests applying 30 minutes before stepping outside.  Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating.  It is also important to note that SPF 1000 wont be that much better than a standard SPF 30.  SPF 15, 30, and 50 block 93%, 97%, and 98% of UV rays respectively, meaning excessively high SPFs experience seriously decreasing marginal returns.

sunscreen

Whether you are planning a picnic, bike ride, run, or sunbathing by the pool this summer, make sure to wear some sunscreen.  It will not only prevent the occurrence of serious diseases such as melanoma, but wrinkles and sunspots as you age.  In the meantime, enjoy the summer days while they are here and  have fun!

Edited by: Avery Osborn

 

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