Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. Too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or from tanning beds is often the cause. This year an estimated 73,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with Melanoma, a dangerous type of skin cancer.
Another 3.5 million will be diagnosed with a less serious form of cancer found on the outer layer of the skin.
Sun damage occurs when it causes cancer and/or it contributes to aging skin (wrinkling). This is radiation at work in two forms. There is ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. UVB causes sunburn and scientists say it plays a role in the development of cancer. UVA penetrates the skin and leads to premature aging.
As we get older our skin becomes more fragile so sunscreen and avoiding sun damage becomes even more important. One of the biggest challenges we face with aging skin is how to protect it from the sun and still get much needed vitamin D. Vitamin D is associated with good bone health. Not having enough vitamin D has also been linked to several diseases.
Although too much sun is not a good idea, it is important to remain active and still enjoy the outdoors as we age. We can still do this and avoid sun damage if we pay close attention to protecting ourselves.
Here are 5 simple tips to protect aging skin from the sun.
It is true that sometimes skin can repair itself, but nothing can completely undo sun damage. Doctors urge everyone to start protecting from sun exposure at an early age, as opposed to waiting until later in life. We can delay changes in our skin linked to aging by staying out of the sun, covering up, wearing a hat, using sunscreen and remembering to protect our eyes as well. After a while it becomes part of a daily routine – much like brushing our teeth and combing our hair. Not doing it could be life altering.
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