Melanoma Awareness, Preventative Tips, Sun Safety

Five myths about skin and sun protection

Your skin needs daily protection. Here's what you need to know.

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Team MoleMap Creator
Posted 28/07/14
Best Clothes To Wear For Sun Protection For Kids

Above: Always make sure you and your kids are wearing sun protective clothing.

Myth No. 1: “T-shirts protect me and my kids from sunburn.”

Thin, light-coloured, loose-weave fabrics don’t shield you well from the sun, and once the material gets wet, it loses up to half its UV-blocking power. So a damp white T-shirt is only moderately protective, while a long-sleeved dark denim shirt is essentially a better block.

Apply Sunscreen Before You Head Out

Above: Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day

Myth No. 2: “All sunscreens are the same.”

Your safest course is to use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, make it a water-resistant and broad-spectrum sunscreen and reapply at least every two hours.

It Is Possible To Get A Sunburn Even On Cool Days

Above: You can still get sunburnt in cold weather.

Myth No. 3: “I won’t sunburn today because it’s too cloudy or too cold.”

Up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate clouds, and on a partly cloudy day, the rays bouncing off cloud edges can boost your risk of sunburn. In winter, snow and ice reflect up to 80 percent of UV, so the rays strike you twice.

Tanning Beds Can Lead To Skin Cancer

Above: Just one session in tanning bed can increase your risk of skin cancer

Myth No. 4: “Tanning beds are fine as long as you don’t overdo it.”

Indoor tanning sessions are like cigarettes: Just one can increase your risk of cancer. People who use tanning beds are 1.5 times more likely to develop Basal Cell Carcinoma (skin cancer) and 2.5 times more likely to develop Squamous Cell Carcinoma (skin cancer).

Sunbathing Can Cause Skin Cancer

Above: Sunbathing can increase your risk of skin cancer

Myth No. 5: “A base tan is healthy and good protection from sunburn.”

Tanned skin is simply sun-damaged skin, more vulnerable to skin cancer and more likely to develop wrinkles, leathery texture and brown spots. That’s why celebrities and fashion models are starting to tone down their tans and show off their natural skin tones.

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