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UV (SUN) Safety

By: Elena Jamscek

So this topic really hits home for me! I don’t think I have ever had a tan in my life (unless you count that spray tan that turned me kinda orange for my junior prom but I thought I looked good!). I have gotten sunburnt on a cloudy day. I have gotten sunburnt through a white t-shirt! It’s a real inconvenience. BUT, I will say that as I’m getting older I am thankful for my sensitivity to the sun now that looking younger, less wrinkles, and not having skin cancer are priorities to me.

So the most obvious thing we think of with UV safety is sunscreen! It’s not just important to pale girls like me! Yes the darker your skin the less likely you are to burn from the sun but sunscreen does more than just keep us from becoming lobsters. The UV rays from the sun have a way of making the moles, freckles, and beauty marks on our bodies to start changing which can become that dreaded C word…Cancer. Not to make you nervous or anything but if you are now just remember your ABC’s:

A – Asymmetry à is your mark/mole becoming different looking on a side?

B – Border à is the border irregular?

C – Color à is the mark getting darker or red?

D – Diameter à is it getting larger?

E – Evolutions à is it changing in general?

If yes to one or a few of those, come by and see me and I can point you in the right direction.

So what might be just as scary as skin cancer is wrinkles and looking older than you are! Yes, that is from the UV rays of the sun…or those TANNING BEDS!!!!! I have never stepped foot into a tanning bed. For one my mom wouldn’t let me when I was younger. She said that she wasn’t paying for me to lie down for 5 minutes and come out complaining of my burn. As an adult now I know my mom was right about EVERYTHING! But staying away from those UV beds and applying sunscreen religiously has kept me from getting those forehead wrinkles too soon, those crows feet that I see some of my old high school classmates with (HAHA “cool” girls), and my skin is smooth and nothing like leather! So aren’t those reasons to really lather up?!

So when choosing a sunscreen think about it like this…it takes my pasty skin to turn red in 20 minutes of sun exposure and I buy a SPF 15 sunscreen, I now have 5 times longer time in the sun without burning…which comes to about 5 hours!

Oh and don’t forget about your eyes! The sun can damage them the same as your skin! Get sunglasses that say UVB protection on that sticker in the corner…and yes those cheapos at TJ Maxx have that sticker too you just have to look for it!!

Hats are good too…sun hats make you look like a celebrity all while protecting you from the sun!!