The Importance Of Sunblock

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A woman does yoga on the dock of a beach resort.

Adela Storey, Staff Writer

Summer is just around the corner, which means long days, vacations, and sadly, sunburns. Many people claim that they don’t need sunblock, but the truth is that everyone should wear some. The sun is harmful to the skin, especially when it is fully exposed for many hours at a time. And if it still seems that sunblock is unnecessary, here are some reasons why it might be useful to use this coming summer.

Exposure to the sun can cause cancer, even if it looks cloudy outside. Melanoma is both the most common type of skin cancer and has the highest death rate when compared with other types of skin cancer. Ultraviolet radiation is the culprit behind skin cancer from the sun, as well as tanning beds. Anybody is at risk for developing skin cancer, meaning that sunblock should be a must for everyone this summer; however, people with fair skin have a higher risk of developing types of skin cancer than individuals with darker tones. If there is no sunblock handy, cover up with hats, sunglasses and long shirts.

Your skin is heavily affected by the sun’s rays. Not only is there a risk for cancer, but skin discoloration, wrinkles, and sagging may occur. “Sunspots” are large areas of discoloration that are found on older individuals after being exposed to the sun light for many years. All of these cosmetic problems can be avoided with sunblock and maybe a wide brimmed hat. Make sure to cover all parts of the face with cream before being outside for prolonged periods of time.

When considering the many ill effects that the sun’s rays can cause, burns are the most common over the widest variety of people. Sunburns happen when sunblock isn’t used, and the skin becomes red and irritated. Severe sunburns are compared to 2nd or 3rd degree burns and can cause symptoms like blisters, nausea, chills, or a fever. Applying burn relief cream may help ease the burning, but once the skin is affected, the risk for developing melanoma is higher.

The simple solution to avoid all of these problems is applying sunblock regularly. Use waterproof sunblock for swimming or days at the beach so it doesn’t wash off in the water, and use regular sunblock for tanning or days in the sun. Make sure the SPF will protect your skin; the paler your skin is, the higher the SPF should be. Have fun, but stay safe this summer.