[Written by Peter Nielsen].
The United States Surgeon General announced the need for immediate action against skin cancer, calling it a major public health problem. The American Cancer Society reports that skin cancer is now diagnosed more often than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer cases combined each year. Close to five million people are treated for skin cancer annually — and according to the National Cancer Institute –melanoma is the most common form of cancer in adults ages 25 to 29 and second most common for young adults aged 15 to 29. Much of it is preventable.
Sunscreen is a vital weapon against skin cancer. Be sure to choose a product that offers the best protection. The sun has two types of invisible rays: ultraviolet A (UVA), and ultraviolet B (UVB). UVA rays are longer and their penetration into the skin is deeper than the UVB rays. They play a large role in tanning, premature aging, loss of elasticity, and wrinkling of the skin. UVB rays main risk is in damage to the superficial layers of the skin — reddening of the skin and sunburns. Both types of rays are associated with skin cancer. Keeping this in mind, remember that sunscreens list their level of sun protective factor (SPF). An SPF of 15 blocks 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97 percent and SPF 50 blocks 98 percent.
Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays, these products will say “broad spectrum protection” or “UVA and UVB protection” on the label. You’ll get a lot of protection for the few minutes application costs you! You’ll not only decrease your risk of skin cancer, you’ll prevent those facial brown spots and slow down the premature aging of your skin.
While preventing sun’s damage with sunscreen, take some positive steps to support healthy skin!
• Eat protein to repair skin cells. Good sources are turkey, fish, boneless skinless chicken, egg whites, sprouts, seeds, grains, and nuts.
• Eat fatty fish to boost the condition of cell membranes, the building blocks of healthy skin.
• Almonds, olive oil and rapeseed oil are high in antioxidant-rich monounsaturated fat and aid in rejuvenating skin cells.
• Keep your skin hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.
• The vitamin C in citrus fruits, berries, broccoli and cabbage provides collagen to heal your skin.
Vitamin E promotes healing and prevents dry skin and the formation of age spots.
Relax and and enjoy some carefree fun in the sun – but remember to block the rays and ruduce your risk of skin cancer!
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