ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Even though the average American only spends about seven percent of their entire life outdoors, the way that time is spent is crucial. We all know that drinking too much alcohol out in the sun can cause dehydration, but did you know drinking too much lime juice can cause a reaction called “margarita dermatitis?” Did you know that when you get a sunburn, UV radiation is actually mutating your DNA? There are also some things you may not know about your sunscreen.
From beach days to just running errands, we all do things we’re not supposed to out in the sun. For example, dermatologists say you should be wearing sunscreen everyday you’ll be outside, regardless of how long. Also, bigger isn’t always better. The FDA has called any SPF that’s 50 or higher “inherently misleading” citing that SPF 100 only blocks one percent more of UVB rays than SPF 50. Unfortunately, sunscreen isn’t cancer prevention in a bottle.
“This doesn’t substitute an evaluation by a dermatologist,” said Naiara Braghiroli, MD, a dermatologist with Baptist Health’s Miami Cancer Institute.
The National Cancer Institute reports people who solely rely on sunscreen are actually more likely to get sunburns and damaged by invisible UVA rays than those who also cover up.
UVA rays that penetrate much deeper into the skin causing free radicals can damage skin and even speed up aging. Dermatologists advise looking for a product with zinc oxide for higher UVA protection. Finding safer ways to enjoy the much-welcomed summer sun.
Dermatologists say sunscreen is great at blocking the redness and irritation caused by UVB rays, but not all sunscreen is created equal. Many contain a type of vitamin called retinyl palmitate, added as an anti-aging compound. However, several studies have linked this compound to an increased risk of skin cancer.
Contributors to this news report include: Sabrina Broadbent, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.
SUNSCREEN SECRETS YOU NEED TO KNOW
BACKGROUND: Sun is beneficial to produce vitamin D which helps calcium absorption for stronger and healthier bones. However, too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause damage to the skin, eyes, and immune system. When UV rays reach the skin, the skin makes more melanin, or the color that causes tanning. In most cases, UV rays react with melanin. This is the first defense against the sun because melanin absorbs the dangerous UV rays that can do serious skin damage. The best way to protect yourself against the sun’s damage is to limit exposure and protect your skin. Generously apply a broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to all exposed skin and reapply every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating. Wear protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, whenever possible. Do not use tanning beds because UV light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. And protect your lips with lip balm that has an SPF 15.
DANGERS OF SUN EXPOSURE: SPF stands for sun protection factor, and the SPF number tells you how well the product will protect you from UVB, the burning rays of the sun. Most sunscreens also absorb ultraviolet “A” rays, or UVA. So, the higher the SPF number, the greater the amount of protection. It is recommended to use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. The immediate danger of too much sun is sunburn. When you look at sunburned skin under a strong microscope, you would see that the cells and blood vessels have been damaged. With repeated sun damage, the skin starts to look dry, wrinkled, discolored, and leathery. The sun’s most serious danger is that it is the major cause of skin cancer, which is now the most common of all cancers. Doctors believe that most skin cancers can be avoided by preventing sun damage. There are 2 types of sunscreens: organic (“chemical”) and inorganic (“physical”). They are both safe and protect you from sun damage, just in different ways.
MELANOMA BREAKTHROUGH: A new melanoma study has revealed that drug treatment before surgery is effective in preventing deadly spread of the disease. Published in the journal, Nature Medicine, data from six clinical trials where drug therapy, known as neoadjuvant therapy, was given before surgery, and researchers found that giving stage III patients a short course of pre-operative targeted or immunotherapy was effective. The stronger a patient’s response to that treatment in the first six to nine weeks, the greater the likelihood their disease would not recur after surgery. As a result, in the 75 percent of patients who responded well to dual immunotherapy given before surgery, only 3 percent saw their tumors return after surgery. In addition to training the immune system to work more effectively against melanoma, neoadjuvant therapy also enables a clinician to assess early on if a patient is responding to a particular treatment and decide on an alternative plan if needed. It also can make surgery less complex.
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