The 5 “S”s of skin safety
Skin cancer: largely preventable
Skin cancer is the most common cancer, but fortunately one of the most preventable. We know exposure to UVA, UVB, and UVC radiation causes skin cancer. Sunlight, tanning beds, and sunlamps all expose our skin to this damaging radiation. Avoiding exposure throughout your lifetime is your best bet to staying skin cancer-free.
For healthy, cancer-free skin while enjoying the outdoors, we recommend following these guidelines provided by the Nevada Cancer Coalition:
· SLIP on a long-sleeved shirt or sun-protective clothing
· SLOP on broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater, and re-apply every two hours
· SLAP on a hat, the wider the brim the better
· SEEK shade or shelter during peak sun exposure times, generally from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
· SLIDE on UV-protective sunglasses to protect the eyes
Early detection aids treatment
Each of the three types of skin cancer – squamous cell, basal cell, and melanoma – can be identified by changes to the skin, so regular skin checks are important. All three are more successfully treated when caught early. The CDC and the Mayo Clinic websites have more information and pictures to help identify possible skin cancers. Always consult the medical professionals at A Woman’s View, if you have concerns.
The sun’s health benefits
Don’t forget that exposure to the sun has many important health benefits. Regular exposure to sunlight helps with vitamin D production, a vital vitamin for human metabolism. There is also a connection between too little sun exposure and metabolic syndrome, conditions that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
So, what is the right amount of sun exposure?
The perfect answer is unclear, but many experts now make a daily recommendation of taking 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 without sun exposure or 2,000 IU plus 15 minutes of bright sunlight. Be extra careful if you are sensitive to the sun or take medications that make you burn quickly. And remember you can safely enjoy being outside when you faithfully SLIP, SLOP, SLAP, SEEK AND SLIDE.