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Reflective UV radiation: A year round danger

Reflective UV radiation is a year round hazard.  During the summer it increases the already intense levels of UV radiation that our skin receives from direct exposure to the sun.  UV rays are reflected off of concrete, asphalt, sand, and water.  During the winter snow is an added risk. 

 

Sun safe behaviors should be encouraged and practiced all year.  It is important to wear sun safe clothing, including hats, in order to protect your skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation.  In addition, to sun safe clothing, sun screen should be worn whenever you plan on being outdoors for more than a few minutes. 

 

It isn't just sunny days that should be a concern; many people mistakenly believe that it is safe to be outside without sun protection on overcast days.  On the contrary, clouds keep much of the sun's infrared radiation from reaching the earth (so we feel cooler), but they still allow as much as 80% of the harmful UV radiation to pass through.  For more information about UV rays click here.

 

 

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Well known celebrity diagnosed with melanoma at age 35

After noticing, what appeared to be chapped lips, but different, Eric Dane the 35 year old star of Grey's Anatomy, paid a visit to his dermatologist.  He discovered that he had malignant melanoma on his lips.  In a recent interview with OK Magazine, Mr. Dane acknowledged that he had spent much of his childhood in the sun skiing and surfing.  The dermatologist told him that the malignant tissue had been caused by sun damage.  Dane states "it could have happened when I was 9 years old. I grew up in California [spending a lot of time in the sun] ...before you realize how important sun block is, it's too late."  Dane's cancer was treated early and cured.  It is important to remember to use lip balm with an SPF of at least 15 every day.  For more information on the importance of using sunscreen, including lip balm, click here.  

 

Source:

Norbom, Mary A, Warech, Jon (2008, February 18). OK Magazine, 45-47.

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Recent study indicates US population lacking in sun safety

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine recently published a study on skin cancer risk behaviors among various segments of the US population.  More than 28 thousand adults participated in a 2005 National Health Interview Survey.  Questions encompassed sun protection behaviors, sunburn history, and the use of indoor tanning facilities.  The most common risk behaviors included not wearing sun protective clothing and not using sunscreen.  Risk behaviors were found across all segments of the population; however the groups displaying the riskiest behavior were males, younger people, non-Hispanic whites, less-educated people, and those already participating in other risky behaviors including smoking and heavy drinking. 

 

The authors of the study, E.J. Coups, PhD, S.L. Manne, PhD, and C.J. Heckman, PhD, note that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. with the incidence rate increasing over the last 30 years.  With skin cancer risk behaviors being highly prevalent among young people, the need for early sun safety education is even more apparent.  Coups, Manne, and Heckman conclude that a comprehensive approach to the prevention of skin cancer needs to address all of the risk behaviors since they are all common among the US population.

 

Source:

Coups, E.J., Manne, S.L., & Heckman, C.J. (2008). Multiple skin cancer risk behaviors in the U.S. population. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 34(2), 87-93.

 

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