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New Rules of Sun Safety

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 13, 2011
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

Woman apply creamSunscreens are substances and materials that protect skin from ultraviolet radiation. They are available in the form of lotions, creams, gels, spray and ointments that can be applied to the skin. The list includes sticks that can be used on the nose and eyelids, sunglasses, moisturisers, certain types of sun protection clothing and film screens that can be fixed on the windows of cars, rooms and offices.


People have been using sunscreens for quite some time and are aware of the rules governing their usage, quantities to be used and how often to apply when you are out in the sun. Based on scientific studies, it is time to update knowledge on sunscreen usage strategies. Given below are some of the updates, contrasting the old knowledge with the current information.

  1. Old knowledge: Suggests one to apply a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 15, half an hour before leaving the house. The Current information is that in addition to SPF 15 one should add an antioxidant enriched moisturiser like idebenone, as the sun generates free radicals that break down collagen and elastin fibres.
  2. Old information: Putting on a T-shirt as a cover up to protect you from the sun is not good enough. Current information: Wearing dark colours and tightly woven fabrics at peak sunlight hours is necessary. Fabrics have UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) ratings and a 30 is required to meet the US Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation.
  3. Old knowledge: usage of sunscreen was to use a teaspoon full for the face and shot glass worth for the body. Current information: nobody measures out sunscreen portions, so it is necessary to make sure that one is fully covered, especially the neck, chest and the back of the hands when driving as the windshield gives no protection from UV rays of the sun. The backs of the hands also face a lot of damage from holding the steering wheel. A non-stick spray can cover up these places and protect one fully.
  4. Old knowledge:  being in the sun is healthy and 20 minutes of exposure three times a week allows the body to produce vitamin D. Current information: Vitamin D is necessary to keep bones healthy and boost the immune system, but supplements are the safest way of getting them, without exposing the body to the sun that could cause cellular damage, aging skin and cancer.

Old knowledge: One should never use tanning beds. Current informationsupports this view as it increases the risk of getting melanoma by 75 per cent and by 90 per cent , the risk of skin ageing and wrinkles and brown spots forming. But a safe method of tanning is when persons are taught to use self-tanners allowing them to spend less time in the sun and control the tanner in a way that gives a gradual tint that helps fade existing sun spots.


In conclusion, a lot of people like to have a tanned skin to give themselves a healthy glow. But getting it from the sun can be risky as the sun’s UV rays can result in skin damage, sunspots and wrinkles. Sunscreens are used to eliminate these effects. This article gives updates on strategies on the use of sunscreens based on latest research.

 

Read more articles on Sun-Damaged Skin Prevention

 


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