Health Tip: Sunscreen and Sunblock..Yes You Need It Too

Everyone enjoys a good tan in the sun but it is still important to protect our skin while we are doing so. Most African Americans think that because we have more melanin in our skin than other races, we aren’t susceptible to skin cancer and sunburn. On the contrary that is untrue. Although our chances may be lower, we are still at risk. We are entering the middle of summer and the sun will be shinning brighter than ever. It is important to be aware of the different types of rays that you will be encountering, which are UVA, UVB, and UVC.

According to an article from Optimal Health Today, “UVA, UVB and UVC are all types of radiation that are given off by the sun. UVC is absorbed by the atmosphere and never reaches the earth’s surface. UVB is partially absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer and in the atmosphere, with the remainder reaching the earth’s surface. Most UVA reaches the earth’s surface”.

“UVB is commonly associated with sunburn, and together, UVB and sunburn care considered to be the main cause of basal and squamous cell carcinoma, as well as a significant cause of malignant melanoma. UVA, which penetrates deeply into the skin, is also thought to be a factor in premature ageing and skin cancers.”

Higher SPF sunscreens don’t give you a higher level of protection, it just determines the length of time it will protect you’re skin. If you are continuously in the sun, don’t forget to reapply. Also, there are some common sense things you know such as if you are in the water, you are going to need to reapply more often.

We tend to interchange the words, sunscreen and sunblock. Let’s define each one: “Sunscreens absorb UV rays, while sunblocks deflect them. A sunblock, properly applied, prevents all UV from reaching the skin. Sunblocks used to be easily recognisable as the bright white stripes that skiers and lifeguards once wore; they are now much more cosmetically acceptable.”

All in all, no one is safe from the harms of the sun, so it is important to keep ourselves protected at all times.

Enjoy the sun!


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