Skin Cancer is a common disease that is thought to develop when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays. Depending on the type of skin, this exposure can be limited and still lead to the development of some form of skin cancer. Fair skin that burns easily in the Sun is particularly vulnerable. As the Sun is the leading source of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation that people are regularly exposed to it is important to protect yourself when in the Sun. This article will list the common methods that can help prevent skin cancer. It will concentrate on Sunscreen and how it works to protect your skin.
Sunscreen is not the only thing that can be used to prevent skin cancer but should be viewed as a part of an overall strategy that limits your exposure to UV rays.
Avoid going out in the Sun when it is strongest. This means from around 11 in the morning through to 3 in the afternoon. Naturally, mid days is the worst time to be out in the Sun. Granted, this may not always be possible, especially if you work outdoors or leave the office for lunch. In this case take other precautions.
Wear protective clothing. Darker colored garments are better than lighter ones. Cover your arms with a long sleeve shirt. Cover your legs with long pants or socks.
Wear a hat with a wide brim. You could also use a sun umbrella if you don’t like hats but a hat is the best method of protecting the scalp and face.
Wear a good pair of sunglasses, as skin cancer can also affect the eyes.
After you have done these things you should then consider wearing sunscreen. Cover the parts of your body that are not covered by clothing. Some advise to cover the arms and legs with sunscreen even if they are covered by clothing as you might roll up your sleeves and it doubles the protection.
Sunscreen comes in two forms. There is chemical sunscreens that absorb UV rays and physical sunscreens that reflect the UV rays (sometimes referred to as sun blocks).
A way to determine the effectiveness of a sunscreen is to look at it’s Sun Protection Factor (SPF). The popular recommendation in this respect is to always go for an SPF of 30+. SPF pertains to the ability to protect the skin from UVB radiation that is thought to be the worst form of radiation for sun burn and skin cancer. However, it does not protect against UVA radiation, which researchers feel can be just as dangerous as UVB. Products that are known as Broad Spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVB and UVA rays.
Sunscreens that act as a sunblock are best if you have to spend time out in the Sun. No doubt you have seen people wearing such creams on the nose or lips. It is almost like a paint that they have applied to the skin. This puts many people off using such creams but they are the best way to protect your skin from the Sun.
Sunblocks normally consist of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. If you don’t like the prospect of having a large white band across your nose then an alternative is to get ultra-micronized titanium or zinc sunscreens. They do the same job of reflecting the sunlight but do make you look like you have warpaint on.
Always reapply sunscreen every 2 hours regardless of if you are active or not. Go for a sunscreen that you like on the skin as this makes it more likely that you will continue to use and reapply it.