Don’t Think You Need Sunscreen? Think Again!

June 27, 2014

Sun ladyThere’s a growing body evidence: people who think they can’t get skin cancer tend to actually be at a greater risk! African Americans, for instance, tend to think that their darker skin is enough protection—so they skip sunscreen and yearly mole checks. In reality? They’re more likely to die of skin cancer. They may get it less often, but if they’re not watching for it and seeking treatment, it can sneak up on them. The same can be said for north-westerners. People living on the Puget Sound (Seattle area) where it’s often cloudy, are actually at a higher risk for skin cancer. In fact, they have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the country, and experts are recommending that sunscreen be a regular part of people’s morning routine. If you’re put off by sunscreen, try a combination of natural options and protective clothing. Some oils have traditional use as sunscreens (but probably aren’t as effective as the recommended SPF 30). Sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, long sleeves (light fabrics like cotton or linen), etc. make up a good wardrobe. You can probably get by with that combination if you’re only getting incidental exposure. If you’re outside all the time, you need to be far more proactive. Reapply sunscreen every 4 or so hours (or if you notice you’re burning). And don’t forget wellness checks with a dermatologist. While there are good mole guides out there, people tend to be horrible about self-diagnosis. A dermatologist can quickly identify anything that needs testing or removal before it grows into something more sinister. They’ll also track anything suspicious year-to-year so there’s no doubt about it later. Skin cancer is preventable. Be proactive about protecting your skin, and treating it if you get burned. Aloe is the go-to for soothing sunburn. You can make a fancier concoction by adding colloidal silver, which has a history of use as a burn ointment, and coconut oil, which is great for skin. Share your skin protection tips in the comments:

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