Too much UV or ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause a sunburn, but it can also cause skin cancer. Around eight out of every 10 cases of melanoma skin cancer could have been prevented with sun safety and avoiding tanning beds. Even with more sunscreens on the market than ever before, there are still a lot of myths about sunscreens, sunburns, and skin cancer. Here area few important facts you need to know before heading outside this year.
You Should Wear Sunscreen Even If You are not Planning to Head Outside
Dermatologists have found that the brief daily sun exposure that we get daily can cause a huge amount of damage in just a year. This could be riding in a car with the windows open or walking from your car during peak UV hours. This cumulative damage has been linked to squamous skin cancer. While not as dangerous as melanoma, squamous skin cancer does cause around 20 percent of the deaths caused by skin cancer.
Even if You Tan, You are at Risk for Skin Cancer
There is no such thing as a ‘healthy tan’. Most of the time, changes in your skin colour is a sign of damage to your skin cells. There is evidence that suggests tanning greatly increases your chances of skin cancer.
People with Darker Skin Can Not Get a Sunburn and Skin Cancer
This is a common myth that has been around for decades. While having naturally darker skin can reduce a person’s risk for a sunburn and skin cancer, they are not immune from the sun and sun protection is still recommended. It is also highly recommended doing regular checks for skin cancer because most cases of skin cancer on darker skin are not detected until it is in later stages, which makes it more dangerous and harder to remove.
You Should Still Wear Sunscreen on Cloudy Days
It is common for people to skip out of using sunscreen on cloudy days because they think that they will not get a sunburn. However, UV rays can penetrate clouds and still damage your skin and eyes. The damage will add up and increase your chances of skin cancer in the long run, which is why you should use sunscreen daily.
SPF 30 is Good, but You Should Still Use Higher SPFs
There is a myth that has appeared in the last 5 years that you only need SPF 30. SPF 30 is a great option for everyday use, but you would need to apply it in the correct way each time and reapply it regularly to use it as your only SPF. Higher SPFs are still recommended, especially during summer as this is the time when UVs are at their highest.
A simple sunburn does not mean that you are going to get skin cancer in the future, but it can increase your risk. Sunscreens can only protect you from a sunburn when you are using them correctly, which most people do not. So, you need to make sure that you are applying enough and you are reapplying it throughout the day.