Out of all the things preoccupying your mind as you prepare for Spring Break, I doubt that skin cancer and premature aging receive the priority that they need. It’s easy to ignore the dangers of poor skincare during life’s care free, unadulterated moments but I assure you that the consequences could be dire. Preventing skin disorders and diseases is easier than you think, it just takes a little bit of careful planning.
UV rays cause the most damage during midday. Avoid the sun between the hours of 10:00 and 4:00. If you can’t resist the beach (and really, who can?) then make sure you take appropriate measures to protect your skin.
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A large part of maintaining excellent health is staying away from excessive carcinogens. Smoking, drinking and tanning, among many others, can all cause cancer. The World Health Organization recently classified indoor tanning as a class 1 carcinogen, placing it in the same ranks as tobacco. Some professionals argue for the occasional use of sun-therapy for the treatment of depression and dermatologic conditions. Alas, my purpose today does not include debating the safety of UV rays or the effectiveness of sun therapy - I’ll save that for another time.
The indoor tanning habits of more than 200 female students were studied at East Tennessee State University. The results were published by The Archives of Dermatology and brought to my attention, courtesy of The New York Times. Nearly 40 percent of the students went tanning for the first time with their mom. These girls were much more likely to become habitual tanners later in life. Girls who first went tanning with friends started, on average, at 16 years old. The other girls who went with their mom for the first time started much earlier, at about 14 years old. Dermatologists are concerned that indoor tanning at any age, but especially so young, greatly increases the person’s risk for skin cancer.
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