BY AMELIA CROSBY
Most of us know the importance of wearing sunscreen in the summer months to avoid sunburn and damage, but it really should be a year-round preventive health measure. Always wear sunscreen, no matter your skin colour or tone. Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can pass through clouds, so if you assume it’s alright to forgo protection on an overcast day, think again. Sunscreen is an important preventive health care habit that should be maintained all year round.
Seven Reasons Why You Should Wear Sunscreen:
- It prevents sunburn. Anyone who has suffered sunburn will understand how unpleasant red burning skin can be.
- It protects your skin from UV Rays. The depletion of the ozone layer has increased our risk of sun damage from harmful UV rays. As the ozone layer depletes, your body needs added protection from these harmful rays.
- It keeps you looking young. The number one cause of premature ageing is from UV rays causing photoaging of the skin, which is characterised by a thick, leathery look; discoloration; and a breakdown of collagen, which contributes to lines, sagging and wrinkles.
- It keeps an even skin tone. Sunscreen helps prevent discoloration and dark spots from sun damage, helping you maintain a smoother and more even skin tone.
- Redheads are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer as they carry the MC1R gene mutation which creates red hair and fair skin. This mutation also creates a cancer-causing pathway which, when exposed to UV radiation, promotes a genetic propensity towards cancer.
- It reduces your risk of developing deadly cancer. In the UK around 15,400 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, that’s around 42 new cases per day. There are two main types of skin cancer: melanoma and non-melanoma. The most common non-melanoma tumours are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma of the skin is the nineteenth most commonly occurring cancer in men and women; in males it is the fifth most common cancer and malignant melanoma is the eleventh most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
- It should become a daily health care habit. Sunscreen is important for all skin types even if you do not burn easily. Sunburn is an immediate reaction, but sun damage occurs over a lifetime. Although skin cancer is more prevalent in people with lighter skin, it does not discriminate and can still affect those with darker skin.
Stay sun smart and slap on the sunscreen daily.