Winter is finally on the way out and spring is here. That means summer is just around the corner, bursting at the seams with sunshine and warmer days. Even if it is warmer year round in certain climates, the sun can be at its hottest during the summer months. Spring break trips are finishing up and people are thinking about summer fun. There are some common myths to be mindful of before heading out into the sun this summer that will keep you (and your skin) healthy.
Myth: Get a Base Tan
Plenty of people think they need a base tan to avoid sunburn on vacation. A tan is actually evidence of skin damage. The skin appears darker because of redistribution of melanin in an effort to protect itself. It is not just skin damage. DNA damage takes place during tanning. What is seen as healthy skin now is actually going to lead to irreversible skin damage down the road.
Myth: Vitamin D Comes from Tanning
If you live in a northern state where sun is limited in winter months, you likely have heard it is a good idea to use a tanning bed or other product to keep vitamin D levels high. Damaging the skin is never a good idea. You may be putting yourself at risk for skin cancer and accelerated aging. Adequate vitamin D levels are only accomplished with proper diet.
Myth: Skin Cancer is Not a Big Deal
One of the biggest myths people face is thinking skin cancer is not a huge deal. In many cases, people walk away from it just fine. They have a small scar and nothing else. It is important to know how deadly skin cancer can be. Not everyone survives skin cancer. Protecting the skin is better than risking skin cancer down the road, which can have disastrous health consequences.
Protect Your Skin
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing a minimum sun protection SPF of 30 every single day. Grossman warns you may need a higher SPF if you are not achieving enough coverage to begin with. Many people tend not to apply enough sunscreen to get the SPF on the label. People should use SPF 50 on a daily basis to keep skin from being damaged. When outside frequently, use it every 2 hours to reapply it to skin and keep it safe. Additional safeguards:
- Wear sun-protective clothing
- Seek shade between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when radiation from the sun is intense
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses
Definitely don’t risk your skin because you’re not sure how to take care of yourself. You will want to ensure you are doing everything possible to protect your skin from sun exposure and associated risks in the future.
It is important to take care of your skin for your overall health. It is also important to consider recovery from addiction as part of your overall health goals. If you are struggling with addiction, there is help and hope. For more information sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702.