Red skin warning: as summer approaches, solar security takes attention

  Red skin warning: as summer approaches, solar safety gets attention

Summer is just around the corner.

Well, it's okay, technically it does not arrive until June 21; but Saturday is the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, and around here, that means the unofficial start of summer.

It's a weekend for memorials and parades, to volunteer in the community and visit veterans. It is also a time for ball games and barbecues, for swimming pools and parks, for spending hours on the lake and for hiking in the mountains. This is the graduation season and graduation parties.

All have a common denominator: going out and having fun under the warm Colorado sun. And with a weekend forecast that requires hot days and lots of sunshine, there will be no shortage of opportunities to absorb some lightning.

That's why Dr. Michael Leslie, a dermatologist with Vanguard Skin Specialists from Pueblo Springs and Colorado Springs, has some tips to keep your skin from getting too hot.

"The best thing you can do is cover yourself with sunscreen and clothes, and avoid the sun during midday, from 10 a.m. to 2 (p.m.), when the sun is more intense," Leslie said.

Sun smarts

While magazines and pop culture want us to believe that a golden glow saturated with the sun is a bady sign of summer, experts say that red skin raises red flags.

The sun's ultraviolet or ultraviolet rays can damage your dermis in just 15 minutes, according to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Risks can range from premature aging of the skin or painful sunburn to life-threatening cancer.

When we talk about ultraviolet light, we are really talking about two different spectra of ultraviolet radiation, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. UVA is the long-wave spectrum while UVB is short-wave radiation. There has been a lot of progress and setbacks over the years when it comes to determining which spectrum is most harmful, so current recommendations say that almost all UV radiation should be avoided.

Skin cancer, according to the CDC, is the most common form of cancer in the US. UU In 2014, the most recent year for which there were CDC numbers, about 76,665 Americans were diagnosed with skin melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. [19659003] The Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization on Monday the Colorado UV index as a "very high" score of 10, putting it on par with Hawaii and the Gulf Coast and surpbaded only by New Orleans and Puerto Rico.

"With more exposure to the sun you have an increased risk of skin cancer," Leslie said. "We see a lot of that here in Colorado, especially with the number of sunny days we have and the altitude.

" We usually see some cases of melanoma per week here. "

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Michael Leslie

Some people, those with lighter skin, darker hair and eyes; with a family or personal history of skin cancer; with a history of sunburn, especially early in life; with a history of indoor tanning; with skin that burns, freckles or easily becomes painful to the sun; and with certain types of moles: they are at greater risk than others.

But it is not a discriminatory disease, which means that anyone can get it.

"The most preventable cause of skin cancer is overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, either from the sun or from artificial sources such as tanning beds," reports the CDC website.

Playing safe

As Leslie noted, the hours of sunshine are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when the orb is more directly above. It is also the time when weekend warriors are likely to want to be outdoors, working on projects or simply having fun.

If that seems like it, here are some easy safety tips to reduce your risk.

Use sunscreen. : Probably the simplest way to keep your sun exposure under control is by rubbing a full-spectrum sunscreen with the power to block UVA and UVB rays. Leslie said he would look for a line with an SPF, or sun protection factor, of at least 30; the CDC says it should invest in a minimum FPS of 15.

"The more, the better," said the doctor. "You want a sunscreen, usually with zinc oxide, which acts as a physical blocker and has broad-spectrum activity against UVA and UVB rays."

Apply a good solid coat before heading outdoors: the Skin Cancer Foundation suggests shooting to put 2 tablespoons of sunscreen at least 30 minutes before heading outdoors, but do not think you'll do it once.

"Normally you want to reapply every two hours while you are exposed to the sun," Leslie said. "Or reapply, if you're coming out of the water or if you're sweating a lot."

Take the protection: sunscreen is a good foundation, but the clothes you wear can also act as a UV blocker, Leslie said. .

The CDC recommends wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs; wide-brimmed hats that can shade the face, neck and ears; and sunglbades that wrap and protect against UVA and UVB radiation.

If that sounds suffocating on a day of more than 90 degrees, Leslie said that certain lines of clothing combine lightweight comfort and broad spectrum protection. He suggested starting your search online, because you may be surprised what you can find.

"There are good options out there," he said.

The Skin Cancer Foundation also recommends keeping newborns completely out of reach of newborns. Sun, apply sunscreen to children 6 months and older, inspect your skin daily for symptoms or warning signs and visit a doctor annually as a preventive measure.

[email protected]

Risk factors

Skin cancer is not a discriminatory disease, but there are some people who are more likely to develop the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Diseases in sunny Atlanta, Ga.

These are the risk factors badociated with an increased incidence of the disease:

Clear natural skin tones

Family history of skin cancer

Personal history of skin cancer

Sun exposure through work and play

History of sunburn, especially at the beginning of life

A history of indoor tanning

Skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily or becomes painful to the sun

] Blue or green eyes

Blond or red hair

Certain types and a lot of moles


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