Monday, May 28, 2012

My Sunscreen Soapbox

Skin cancer runs rampant in my family. Last year at this time my dad was just finishing up treatment for a rare type of skin cancer called Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Thankfully it was caught early and he needed only minor surgery and six weeks or radiation.

As a result of our family history, we are always mindful of wearing sunscreen. I always put it on if I'm going to be spending time at the beach or a pool, but I'm not great about putting it on everyday. I have to be better about that.

Buying sunscreen can be expensive. I always stock up when it's on sale. If I happen to run out before I can get it on sale, I head to the Christmas Tree Shops. They always have brand name sunscreen at a great price. You can also pick up some inexpensive beach toys for the kids while you're there.

At a recent trip to the dermatologist, I asked if he could recommend a brand of sunscreen. He said that the brand does not matter, one of the ingredients does. He mentioned avobenzone.  He said to make sure that the sunscreen that I buy has that in it. Avobenzone helps to reflect the suns most damaging rays. To keep your skin from being sunburned, it's best to use an SPF of 30 or more.  

I'm begging you to use sunscreen. I'm also begging those of you who still insist on using tanning beds to stop! It's so dangerous.  In fact, indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors.  Switch to spray tans if you want that "summer glow." 

In conclusion, slather on that sunscreen before going outside. Your skin will thank you! 

Thanks for listening to my rant. I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend. 

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