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Save your skin: Wear sunscreen

Senior+Alaina+O%E2%80%99Donnell+taking+all+the+necessary+precautions+to+keep+her+skin+safe+from+the+sun+this+summer.+
Senior Alaina O’Donnell taking all the necessary precautions to keep her skin safe from the sun this summer.

Senior Alaina O’Donnell taking all the necessary precautions to keep her skin safe from the sun this summer.

Jillian Reich

Jillian Reich

Senior Alaina O’Donnell taking all the necessary precautions to keep her skin safe from the sun this summer.

Jillian Reich, Staff Writer

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Whether lying out at the beach, hiking with friends, or lazily sunning by the pool, protect your skin this summer by taking all the necessary precautions to prevent damage.

No matter what skin type, fair, light, or dark, it is important to protect yourself from the damaging sun.  Being exposed to ultraviolet radiation increases the risks of developing most skin cancers.  “Even though UV rays make up only a very small portion of the sun’s rays, they are the main cause of the sun’s damaging effects on the skin.  UV rays damage the DNA of skin cells.  Skin cancers start when this damage affects the DNA of genes that control skin cell growth,” states the American Cancer Society.

Skin that is over-exposed to the sun can become dry, wrinkled, discolored, and leathery. On a more serious note, The Cleveland Clinic warns, “The sun’s most serious threat is that it is the major cause of skin cancer, which is now the most common of all cancers. Doctors believe that most skin cancers can be avoided by preventing sun damage.”

These harmful rays can be avoided in many ways.  One can simply wear sunscreen and stay out of the sun during the prime hours when the UV light is the strongest, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“Sunscreen protects you from more than sunburn. Heatstroke and heat exhaustion are two other extremely nasty heath issues that can arise from extended sun exposure.  Sunscreen, in combination with other precautions such as increased consumption of water, can help you avoid these issues,” according to Unity Point Heath.

Skin that is over-exposed to the sun can become dry, wrinkled, discolored, and leathery.”

It is important to know how sunscreen works when purchasing the item.  The SPF on the bottle indicates of how long a person can stay out in the sun before the UV rays start to burn the skin.  Also, whether or not the sunscreen is water resistant is a huge factor on how effective the block will be.  Water resistant sunscreen helps the product stay on longer while people are sweating in the sun, so keep this in mind when picking out a product.

The Skin Cancer Foundation advises, “An SPF 30 will theoretically allow you to stay in the sun 30 times longer without getting burned.” The foundation recommends that sunscreen wearers use a spectrum of an SPF of 15 or higher – SPF 30 or higher for extended stays outdoors and to get the best protection possible.

Stay safe this summer.  Wear sunglasses, sunscreen, and stay hydrated.  Have fun in the sun without ruining your skin.

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Save your skin: Wear sunscreen