Be sun smartLiving in 113* heat means that water is an important part of surviving the summer. We do not have a pool because I am not a strong swimmer and we have young kids. Pool safety, even sans pool, is important.
My 4 year old is learning to swim and being more confident in the water. I've been taking water aerobics and we plan another round of swimming. In areas where the weather is a tad more pleasurable, sun exposure is likely as intense due to the time spent outdoors.
There have been numerous reports recently about how skin cancer is prevalent and how even those who use
sunblock sunscreen or a "tanning lotion" are at higher risk for skin cancer.
This week I took myself to the dermatologist. I'm in my early 30s, living in the "land of the sun" with fair skin, blue eyes and freckles. With the start of swimming lessons, I noticed a new "mole" on my back and decided enough is enough, I need a full body check. Not knowing is not worth the risk - my lovely $60 copay gave me a body check up and piece of mind for the next year.
|Baby needs a cap!|
Use sunscreen SPF30+
Use sunscreen with zinc oxide as the active ingredient, which is one of the "recommended" for UVA blocking (the others being chemicals mexoryl and parsol 1789 or avobenzine).
Don't use tanning beds
Don't use the tanning bed. There are no safe tanning beds. The nurse practitioner I saw asked me about tanning bed use - I did use it infrequently as a teen and while it has been 15 years since I've used the tanning bed, I know many people (listen up family!) who do use them regularly still. Here are some facts on tanning beds (from Skincancer.org)
- Those who make just four visits to a tanning salon per year can increase their risk for melanoma by 11 percent, and their risk for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma by 15 percent.57
Wear Protective Clothing
Clothing can offer protection as well from the sun. I am not a sun worshiper. I believe in the value of Vitamin D, but I also am not afraid of my freckles and white skin. I'd rather have ultra pale skin than skin cancer. There are a variety of protective clothing lines that have UV protection built in. A tightly woven cotton t-shirt will also work.
I came from my appointment knowing I'm okay right now. But it was a good reminder to apply sunscreen, be diligent about not being in the sun when it is "peak" time (in Phoenix it is 9 am - 6 pm, lovely) and to not only protect my skin, but also my face (wide-brimmed hat), eyes (sunglasses) and lips (use an SPF lip balm)