Who doesn’t love summer? The fashion, activities, weather, and of course, the sun are all the things we look forward to year in and year out. What can easily be forgotten, however, is how powerful the sun is. Studies have suggested that higher levels of vitamin D (often from the sun) are associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. But remember, comparable to a fine wine, the sun only gets more potent as time passes. As such, we must be proactive when it comes to protecting our skin.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Each year in the U.S., nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer with an annual cost of $8.1 billion, yet most cases are preventable.
The Skin Care Foundation offers great suggestions for how to keep the sun’s harmful rays at bay. For instance, it is reported that summer is not the only time of year our skin is susceptible to damage. The sun is around 365 days of the year, whether we can see it or not. Below are a few suggestions for year round skin protection:
- Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, for extended sun exposure, an SPF 30 or higher is recommended.
- Be sure to cover up! As much as you may love your “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” layers are encouraged. Even a broad-brimmed hat goes a long way towards preventing unnecessary sun exposure.
- Resist the urge to tan. Sadly, there is no such thing as a “healthy tan.” Pasty is the new tan, just look at Nicole Kidman, Anne Hathaway and Rooney Mara.
Awareness is key when it comes to preventing cancers; whether that be skin, breast or colon cancer. Always be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns and remember to always wear your sunscreen!