Last week, I talked about the importance of Broad Spectrum in your sunscreen. Have you checked your tube yet? If not, get to it, but not before you’ve finished reading this article and made a comment down below
This week, I’m going to address a few of the erroneous beliefs of sun and skin and tanning and burning. (Yes, I know, I did that on purpose) Over the years, my clients have talked about “is this true” or “I heard..”, “I always thought that..” These are a few of the myths floating out there:
- Tanning is good because it protects from sunburn – It does not. As a matter of fact, a tanned body can burn at any time and is a sign OF skin damage. The skin develops a tan due to UVB rays which is the light wave that burns the epidermis. A tan is also the result of change in DNA due to damage which can lead to melanoma. Tanning is the way our skin makes an attempt to repair and protect itself to prevent further injury.
- A cool breeze helps prevent a sunburn – You know those days while you’re sitting on the beach, enjoying the sun, the sand and absolutely luxuriating in the fact that you’re not on a slow broil? Well, guess again. You are broiling, possibly even more so then on a windless day.The wind has no effect on the amount of UV radiation your skin is receiving, it can’t move the UV’s away; as a matter of fact, add a lovely wind burn to the day’s sojourn.
- Windows protect from all of the sun’s ultraviolet rays – While windows provide a minimum amount of protection, the sun’s UVA waves are longer and will penetrate the glass, leaving you with damage to the dermal layers of the skin.
Very often, a person will have more sun damage (that displays itself as hyper-pigmentation) on the left side of the face due to driving.
- It’s cloudy out; therefore, no damage – Just because the sun is hiding behind clouds and it’s a gray day doesn’t mean that the rays are blocked. Up to 40% of the Sun’s ultraviolet rays will hit Earth on a fully cloudy day.
- Since it’s a 50 SPF, it only has to be applied once while I’m outside, the higher the number, the better – Oh my, do this only if you’re interested in getting a burn. A broad spectrum sunscreen must be applied hourly, apx 1 oz for the body.
- Dark-skinned people can’t get melanoma – This one makes me nuts! Skin is skin people! Melanoma doesn’t say, hey, let’s go get that man from Norway and leave that woman in Brazil alone.. It makes no difference what your race is or if you’re skin color is light or dark. If you’re not taking care of your skin, you leave yourself susceptible to sun damage. Melanoma is an equal opportunity cancer.
These are just a sampling of the stories we’ve been raised with. I’d like to hear your stories. Oh, one more thing, please, schedule annual skin checks with your dermatologist. It could save your life.
Here are some sites you may want to visit for further research