Summer Is Fun But Don't Burn in the Sun

July 30,2018

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, approximately 90% of the 5 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer cases diagnosed each year in the United States directly relate to over exposure to the sun's UV radiation. In addition, nearly 200,000 cases of melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) are likely caused by sun exposure too. Fact is, for those who have experienced more than five (5) sunburns, their risk of melanoma is doubled. It is amazing how many visitors to the Sunshine State, as well as new residents, end up taking a trip to an urgent care or hospital emergency room for treatment of second-degree burns.

As you travel farther from the poles and closer to the equator, burn times are reduced. During mid-summer, the burn time for exposed skin in north Florida is typically ten minutes. That's not much time and a good reason as to why you should apply the appropriate sunscreen before your start having fun outdoors. Since the sun's ultraviolet rays are strongest after lunch to sunset, your chance of getting a sunburn also increases during those hours. When accompanied with skin blisters or a fever, sun poisoning related to excessive exposure is cause for immediate medical attention.

Don't think you need sunscreen? There is no one that naturally has that kind of built-in protection. And... don't think your sandals or flip flops will provide protection for your feet and toes. Sensitive areas of skin, such as nose, ears, neck, feet and toes require maximum protection. It is always important to reapply sunscreen several times during a long outing and especially following a dip in the pool or ocean. Also, generously apply sunscreen to all exposed area on cloudy days. Cloudy days lull sun worshipers into a false sense of protection, but the sun's UV rays are always burning their way through the cloud's shadow.

Last month, the state of Hawaii became the first state to ban over-the-counter sunscreens that contain harsh chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate. These chemicals are proven harmful to marine ecosystems, as well as having been associated with harmful affects to the human reproductive system. Green sunscreens are those that use mineral-based sunblockers to reflect UVA and UVB rays to prevent harmful light from being absorbed by the skin. Also known as physical blockers, these green sunscreens offer an equal, if not superior, level of sun protection. If you have already encountered sunburn, or need help with selecting a green sunscreen, contact either PrimeMED location to schedule an appointment.