While it seems that less and less people are getting sunburned during the summer months, there has been an increase in skin cancer over the years. This could be due to two reasons, one, the ozone layer getting thinner and two, that even though people are wearing sunscreen, which helps protect against sunburns, they are exposing themselves for longer periods of time or more often to direct sunlight.
A sunscreen should be considered a must when heading outdoors, but it is also important to watch the amount of direct exposure. Prevention is the best medicine; however, if you do over expose and cause a sunburn there are some things you can do to help your skin heal and hopefully lessen any permanent damage.
Coenzyme Q10 - a free radical scavenger that also increases the supply of oxygen to the cells.
Free-form amino acid complex - supplies protein needed for tissue repair.
Potassium - potassium is lost though sunburn and it must be replaced.
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids - aids in tissue repair and healing.
Colloidal silver - an antiseptic - to prevent infection, it can also subdue inflammation.
Aloe Vera - relieves discomfort, speeds healing and helps to moisturize the skin.
Drink plenty of water for re-hydration and eat foods high in protein for tissue repair and raw fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals.
You can also add to your sunscreen the contents from a capsule of each, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, to help prevent free radical damage.
The type of sunscreen is important as well. Many moisturizers contain a sunscreen, but the SPF is often as low as 8. It is important to use a sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher and it must be re applied through out the day for maximum protection. Every two to three hours is good and more often if you are sweating or swimming.
It is also recommend that you use a broad spectrum or full spectrum sunscreen to ensure that you are filtering out both UVA and UVB rays. The word filtering means just that, as earlier stated, even when you are wearing sunscreen you are still exposing your skin to the sun. Sun-screen means just that. While it definitely helps to prevent burns and UV rays; the only true block is four walls and a ceiling. Although in the summer months, staying inside is not as appealing as spending the day at the beach. So, for added protection where a hat, long sleeve clothing, use an umbrella and if it is possible avoid direct exposure during peak hours 10 am to 3pm.
Enjoy the summer, but be safe and protect your skin, it is after all the largest organ we have!
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© Melt Magazine 2002