Sara spends much of her summer near beach. She lives in a mild climate and is very athletic. She loves to swim, bike and play games outdoors. Sara knows dangers of sun and so she opts for tanning salons to get her 'golden glow' while being sure to apply sunscreen every day before heading out.
Joseph lives in a cooler, northern climate. The summers can be very humid, but most of year is mild or even below freezing during harshest winter months. The beach has never been much of a draw for him and he spends most of his time doing indoor activities or at his job. Joseph doesn't worry about sunscreen and only had one sunburn that he can remember and that was when he was a child.
Which of these examples do you most associate yourself with? Did you know that Sara and Joseph are both at risk of developing skin cancer? We have all heard warnings about dangers of sun exposure. We know all about importance of wearing sunscreen and hats. But are YOU protected from skin cancer? Consider these myths and facts:
MYTH ONE: Tanning Beds are Safer than Sun
20 minutes of exposure in a tanning bed is roughly equivalent to four hours in sun. Although sun beds use UVA rather than UVB rays, 'The Skin Cancer Answer' states that "UV-A penetrates more deeply into skin than UV-B, can cause skin cancer, and may suppress immune system."
MYTH TWO: Wearing Sunscreen at Beach is Protection
85 percent of UV rays can even make it through on cloudy days. That means you are equally at risk in car, walking dog or letting your children out to play at any time of year - even when you're not at beach. Of course, you are usually less attired at beach and so covering up is recommended even when wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen also wears off with sweat and water and should always be applied every two hours or after getting wet.