Gone are the long sleeves and scarves of winter. With the warm summer months come tank tops, flip-flops and swimming suits. Unfortunately, all that exposed skin can also lead to sun damage. For today’s blog, the CarePro Health Services team is going to identify the top 5 things you need to know about sunburns and suntans:
- Sunburns and Suntans are a reaction to the skin being injured
Whether you get a painful, red burn or a sought-after tan, both are the result of the same thing: your skin being attacked by the sun’s UV rays. A tan is the result of the body creating more melanin to protect itself, while a burn is an inflammatory response to damage. In both situations, the skin loses moisture and starts to tighten.
- Base tans don’t protect you
No matter how nice they may look, tans are still the result of the skin being damaged. Adding to a base tan by tanning more will only result in a higher risk for wrinkles and possibly cancer.
- Use sunscreen liberally and often
Most people don’t use as much sunscreen as the manufacturers recommend. And after a while, it will start to wear off. Dermatologists recommend you reapply sunscreen once every two hours.
- Any time is a good time to quit tanning
Some people who’ve experienced sun exposure at an early age tend to take on the mantra, “The damage is done, so I may as well keep tanning!” However, harmful sun exposure is like smoking: even if the damage is done, quitting is still better than continuing the habit.
- You don’t always see it
Just because sun damage doesn’t show up doesn’t mean it’s not happening. While it’s easier to see sun damage on fair skin, those with natural tans are just as much at risk for sun damage, skin cancer and premature wrinkles—even if you don’t see the damage as it’s happening.
Please follow these guidelines from CarePro Health Services about what to look for in a sunscreen and what to avoid:
Look for: Avoid:
- Zinc Oxide Oxybenzone
- Avobenzone Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate)
- Titanium Dioxide Added insect repellent
- Cream Sprays
- SPF up to 50 SPF above 50
Oxybenzone and Octinoxate can disrupt the hormone system while Retinyl Palmitate may trigger damage, possibly cancer.
We want you to stay safe this summer and enjoy the outdoors. As long as you take the proper precautions, you should be able to enjoy the warmer weather without damaging your skin. Stop by CarePro Home Medical or browse our online catalog for a wide range of sunscreen products (as well as some without the harmful chemicals). If you find yourself staying inside because of limited mobility, CarePro Home Medical can help, as we carry ambulatory aids in our store.