Staying safe in the sun

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With summer around the corner, it is more important than ever to apply sunscreen daily. While one sunburn may not seem like a big deal to a child, it can have lasting effects as one grows older.  

Sunscreen can be sticky and annoying to put on, but it has many benefits. One main benefit is that it decreases the risk of getting skin cancer. Melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, is caused by extreme exposure to UV radiation from the suntanning bedsor lamps. The Skin Cancer Foundation has proven that using sunscreen can lower melanoma risk by 50 percent. Having melanoma affects a patient for the rest of his or her life, with many appointmentssurgeries, and scars that will never fully go away. They also must take extreme precautions whenever they step outside.  

“At age 34, I was very surprised at my Stage 1 Melanoma diagnosis. I had three major surgeries and ten years of follow-up appointments with the oncologist and dermatologist,” Natalie Henderson, melanoma survivor and Georgia resident, said. 

Another benefit of using sunscreen daily is its prevention against premature agingSun Protection Factor [SPF], if used every day, can help avoid wrinkles, brown spots, and blotchy skin.  

“I make sure to wear SPF every dayso I will not have skin problems in the future. I know that if I start protecting my skin now, I will have youthful skin when I am older,” Madison Hall, freshman, said.  

One study conducted by researchers from the U.K. and Australia, with 903 participantsput this to the testThe scientists had half of the participants use SPF 15 or higher on the face, arms, and neck every daythe other half was told to use it whenever it felt necessaryAfter four and a half years, the participants who wore SPF every day aged 24 percent less than the group that did not wear any SPFThe study also proved that aging will decrease, even if one starts routine a couple years later. 

“What’s cool about this study is that the average participant age was 39; the researchers say this proves that even middle age is not too late to start a daily SPF routine and still see real results,” SELF, a website documenting the study, stated.  

When outside, make sure to protect the skin and put on sunscreen.