|From San Antonio Express News | No SPF? UVA and UVB will leave you RED|
“It’s very, very important to emphasize sun protection for kids,” Ghohestani said. “Most people think it’s not a big deal and then they end up having cancer 20 years later.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Every year, more than 1 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer.
Ultraviolet rays cause cancer by damaging the cell’s center, which controls the proliferation of cells. These rays are subdivided into three categories according to their wavelength: UVA, UVB and UVC. Research and studies show that UVB rays directly cause these mutations in the DNA. Ghohestani said that to avoid these harmful changes, it is important for people to protect their skin from the sun.
Ghohestani said he encourages people to use sunscreens that block both UVA and UVB rays every day.
“We know recently that UVA is damaging to skin and chronic exposure is harmful to the skin as well,” he said. “We see sun-damaged skin on the left side of drivers from the windows in their car.”
Windows only block out UVB rays, not UVA rays. He said people who do not put on sunscreen every day, especially those who spend a lot of time driving, tend to have more wrinkles on the left side of their face because of sun damage.
Ghohestani recommends that people wear at least SPF 15 every time they leave their home, even on cloudy days and road trips. An adult should apply about two tablespoons of sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going out. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours.
He explained that without sun protection, a fair-skinned person turns red after about 10 minutes in the sun. If that same individual uses sunscreen with an SPF of 15, it will take approximately 150 minutes for his or her skin to turn red. In general, he said it is not necessary to apply sunscreen with an SPF higher than 50. However, people should consider waterproof sun protection when they are swimming because UV rays can still be harmful through one or two feet of water.
He recommends that people buy hypoallergenic sunscreen that offers protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Stores typically sell a mixture of sunblock that physically blocks UV rays and sunscreen that contains chemicals, which absorb the rays.
He suggests people also protect themselves by wearing protective clothing, finding shade, and avoiding direct sun exposure from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during summer months. Hats and clothing with high UPF factors help decrease UV exposure. All fabrics have different UPF factors: closely woven fabric, dark colors, and dry cloth have high UPFs.
Ghohestani urges taking precautions against sun exposure.
“We really discourage people to go and expose their skin to any ultraviolet radiation either through sun or tanning salons,” he said. “There is a correlation between tanning and wrinkles.”
Instead of tanning, he recommends sunless tanning products commonly sold as creams gels, lotions and sprays. However, in the event that sunburn has already occurred due to tanning or sun exposure, he suggests waiting until it goes away or applying hydrocortisone if it is not blistered. If a burn blisters, does not disappear after a few days, or an allergic reaction occurs, seek medical attention.