Answer: All of the above
Fact: Sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer.
Fact: Melanoma is on the rise faster than any other skin cancer.
Fact: More than 90% of all skin cancers are caused by sun exposure.
Fact: Three quarters of the US population has Vitamin D deficiency.
Fact: Sun exposure helps us turn cholesterol into vitamin D.
If you’re now confused and frustrated, I don’t blame you. While I may not be able to give you all the answers to the question you now have, I can at least help you make a list of questions you should be asking your doctor or dermatologist.
Consult your physician:
- How much sun exposure is safe for you to have.
- How’s your vitamin D level?
- Get your moles checked once a year.
Vitamin D benefits:
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones but there is a plethora of diseases vitamin D deficiency can affect such as allergies, asthma, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
It is true that we need Vitamin D to keep us healthy and the sun does provide us with this essential vitamin, but sun exposure can increase our risk for deadly skin cancers as well as the number 1 reason for accelerated aging of the skin.
Sunscreen is only one step in protecting yourself from sun exposure. Don’t get me wrong, a certain amount of sun exposure is good for you but we tend to over do it and we also forget about the amount of exposure we get from our daily routine.
- There is no way to get a safe tan. Embrace your natural color or get a spray tan. The WebMD can tell you some affects of the sun on your skin.
- Wear an SPF 30 sunscreen before you step out every day. Don’t forget the back of your neck, decollete, hands and forearms.
- Wear a hat if you’ll be exposed for longer then 15 minutes.
- If you have gotten a sunburn here’s some info that may help.
- And, I hate to be redundant but get your moles checked dammit.
Discussing the sun exposure vs. vitamin D topic with your doctor will put these topic on his radar if it’s not already. Being proactive about your health is important as no one knows us like we know ourselves.
Be good to yourself and make the call.