How to Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage

Even though we are nearing the end of summer, there is still plenty of sun to go around for the remainder of the season and, depending on where you live, even the year. A mistake many people make is thinking that they are protected just by throwing on some sunscreen and that’s it. The truth is, that’s not entirely true at all.

There are many ways your body can experience sun damage. Before we dive into preventing this damage, let’s look at some basic sun facts that could save your skin (and more importantly, your life!)

 

Based on data from Skincancer.org:

  • Each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people.1
  • Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer1 than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.2
  • Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.3
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.4
  • Between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma at least once.5
  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer.6 More than 4 million cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.1,13
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer.7 More than 1 million cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.1,13
  • Organ transplant patients are approximately 100 times more likely than the general public to develop squamous cell carcinoma.8
  • Actinic keratosis is the most common precancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans.9
  • About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.10
  • The annual cost of treating skin cancers in the U.S. is estimated at $8.1 billion: about $4.8 billion for nonmelanoma skin cancers and $3.3 billion for melanoma.11

While these stats may scare you, there are some quick ways to prevent any of this from happening.

  1. Understand how sunscreen works. SPF typically let’s you know how long the sunscreen will last. SPF 45 is 45 mins, etc. This is important to know because you must know when to reapply!
  2. Avoid tanning beds. Everything we’ve read asks that people avoid these at all costs due to the incredibly harmful lights used in these beds.
  3. Wear sunglasses. Your eyes need protection, too. Make sure you have a pair of protective eyewear on you at all times. If you need some, check out Sunglass Hut for new deals and discounts.

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