Summer is just around the corner, and this means trips to the beach, the pool, and to the mountains for many people. It also means an increased risk for sunburn and for skin cancer. Although a large majority include sunscreen in their daily routine, research shows that relatively few understand the necessity for the right product and the right usage of that right product.
The Right Product
The number one term that most people look for when choosing a sunscreen is SPF. This stands for sun protection factor. Because there is a common misconception that SPF equals strength, many people reach for the highest SPF product they can find. This could not only cost you more dollars, but it could cost you the overall health of your skin in the long run.
The truth about SPF is that it is a measurement of timing. For example SPF 15 means that it would take 15 times longer for a sunburn to occur than if the skin were bare. Another important fact about sun protection factor is that this measurements only applies to UVB rays. UVB rays are those that are responsible for sunburn. However, there is also a major concern with UVA sunlight.
UVA rays will not cause the skin to burn. They will however, penetrate the skin and cause damage and deeper tissues. This damage will not be seen for many years. When it is, it may be in the form of unattractive spots, fine lines and wrinkles, or skin cancer.
What Really Matters
Certainly, SPF is an important measurement to consider. However, this is not the only indicator of protection. Because SPF measurements only applies to UVB rays, consumers must look for products that claim broad-spectrum protection. This is the only term that indicates UVA protection.
Improve Your Protective Measures
Sunscreen use is one of several measures that may be taken to avoid unhealthy cellular activity. The number of skin cancer diagnoses continues to rise, and research suggests that routine skin cancer screenings make a positive difference the prevention and early treatment of skin cancer.
Contact our office to schedule your skin cancer screening.