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Melanoma Rates Triple; How to Protect Yourself

Melanoma Rates Triple; How to Protect Yourself
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By    |   Monday, 23 July 2018 09:53 AM

With summer here, many of us are enjoying time outdoors, but statistics show that fewer than one in three adults report using sunscreen — and that’s a recipe for potentially deadly melanoma, say experts. According to the Environmental Working Group’s Sun Safety Campaign, skin cancer is the most common form of all the cancers in the U.S. Rates of new melanoma cases have tripled over the last 40 years, and yet many Americans still believe it cannot happen to them.

“Sunscreen alone is not the magic bullet, “ Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group who holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health, tells Newsmax. “But it’s a good start. The problem is that many people are confused about what are the best protective products to buy.

The EWG released its 12th annual guide to the best sun protection products on the market. They tested over 1500 items and found that about three-fourths of them offer inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients that could be carcinogenic or cause skin damage. You can visit the guide at https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/ to see how your favorite product ranks or to find the best alternative for adults and children.

In addition, the EWG offers these tips to protect yourself against skin cancer:

1.  Avoid spray sunscreens. They may seem to be easier to apply on squirming kids, but they pose serious inhalation risks, says Dr. Kenneth Beer, M.D., a Palm Beach dermatologist. “Would you want to put sunscreen in your lungs?” he asks. “I wouldn’t use them at all,” the University of Miami professor tells Newsmax.

2.  Avoid super high SPFs. SPF stands for sun protection factor and refers only to UVB protection not the damaging UVA rays of the sun which penetrate deep into the skin, suppress the immune system, accelerate skin aging and could cause cancer. The EWG recommends sunscreens with a 50 SPF and reapplying often. You don’t need the super high 100 SPF products because they offer a false sense of security. “You still need to reapply the product at least every two hours,” says Lunder.

3.  Avoid oxybenzone and other endocrine disrupting chemicals. Commonly used in sunscreens, this chemical gets into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body which could lead to serious health problems. You are best off with a mineral based sunscreen containing titanium or zinc oxide. We now have products that are slightly tinted to blend more easily with your skin tone.

4.  Avoid retinyl palmate also. When used in skin cream, this form of vitamin A is supposed to have anti-aging effects but on sun-exposed skin, it can speed the development of skin tumors and lesion.

5.  Avoid combining sun screen and bug repellant combinations. Bugs aren’t usually around during UV exposure peaks and you need to apply sunscreen more frequently than repellant. Besides, skin care experts advise against using repellants on your delicate facial skin.

6.  Always choose a sunscreen that offers a “broad spectrum” of protection for both UVA and UVB rays. Select 50 SPF for outdoor safety and 30 SPF for everyday use. “And don’t rely on moisturizer or makeup to provide enough sun protection even if it has SPF built in,” says Lunder. “Remember that you need to reapply sunscreen to be effective.”

Other tips to keep you safe in the sun include:

*Wear clothes. Shirts, hats and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays, reducing burn risk by 27 percent

*Plan around the sun. Go outdoors early in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky

*Find shade or make it. Picnic under a tree or take a canopy to the beach. Keep infants in the shade, reducing the risk of multiple burns by 30 percent

*Sunglasses are essential. They aren’t just a fashion accessory; they protect your eyes against UV radiation.

*Check the UV index. The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA offers a free UV Index App for Smartphones

*Don’t get burned. “Red, sore blistered skin means you’ve gotten far too much sun,” says Lunder.

© 2018 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

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With summer here, many of us are enjoying time outdoors, but statistics show that fewer than one in three adults report using sunscreen — and that’s a recipe for potentially deadly melanoma, say experts.
melanoma, rates, triple, protect, yourself
Monday, 23 July 2018 09:53 AM
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