Staying safe from skin cancer; Importance of sunscreen

Kimberly Allen, Reporter

Sunkissed skin, cool winds, and crashing waves, summer is coming up! These are all things people commonly think of when they think of the summertime, but what is often overlooked is the dangers of the blazing sun. 

     According to the sun has been around for 4.6 billion years, and humans have only been on the earth for 6 million years. In modern history, it wasn’t until the 1920’s that sunscreen started to appear. An Australian man by the name of Milton Blake was the first to produce a sunscreen. 

     Organic sunscreens are good for people with sensitive skin according to University of Chicago medicine. Another plus of an organic sunscreen is that it doesn’t leave a white cast. It’s also important to use sunscreen on your scalp as the sun shines directly on your head. 

     Sun protection factor (SPF) measures what extent that a sunscreen protects the skin against ultraviolet B rays. Sunscreens that protect the skin the most from ultraviolet B rays have an SPF of 30 or higher. According to The University of Chicago Medicine SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of UV rays. 

     Sunscreens only work if they are applied correctly. This means that it is important to reapply sunscreen every two hours. Sunscreen isn’t the only factor that protects you from the sun. That’s why people also wear hats, sunglasses, and stay in the shade for sun protection. 

     Did you know that it’s recommended to wear two tablespoons of sunscreen just on the face for adults? A majority of Americans don’t wear as much sunscreen as doctors recommend. 58% of Americans said they only wear sunscreen in the summer or when it is hot outside according to Advanced Dermatology. 

     Ann Warren, sophomore, said, “I wear sunscreen pretty often. I get sunburned super easily, so I think it’s important to protect my skin from things like skin cancer and burns that the sun causes.”  

     Sand, snow, and water all reflect sunlight, so it is important to take sun protection measures in all types of weather, rain or shine. On cloudy days, up to 90% of UV rays can pass through the cloud cover. 

     For sunburns a common remedy to relieve the pain is aloe vera. However, if your sunburn is more serve, with symptoms like fevers, headaches or vomiting, you should see a doctor about your burn.