Enjoy the Benefits of the Sun Safely
by the Episcopal Church Medical Trust
The skin is the body's largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury and infection. Yet, several of us don't consider the necessity of protecting our skin. The sun’s warmth and light can relax us and boost our spirits. But the benefits may come with a hazardous tradeoff. Each year more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the US, over 90 percent of which are caused by the sun's ultraviolet rays (UVR). Similarly, most of the skin damage we associate with aging - wrinkles, sagging, leathering and discoloration - is UVR-related.
Follow these simple tips to enjoy what the sun has to offer in a safer way this summer:
-Seek the shade especially between 10 AM and 4 PM. That is when the sun's rays are usually strongest. If you're outside, head under a pavilion roof or leafy tree - or carry a sun umbrella. And take advantage of early morning and late afternoon to indulge in your favorite outdoor activities – try the beach at sunset, for example, rather than midday.
-Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths. Avoid spending long periods in the sun, and when you see or feel your skin redden, take cover.
-Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses – UV rays can also penetrate the structures of your eyes and cause cell damage.
-Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
-Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
-Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
-Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
-See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
Adapted from http://www.foh.dhhs.gov and http://www.skincancer.org/prevention
This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be professional medical advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of a health care professional with any questions about personal health care status, and prior to making changes in approaches to diet and exercise. This material is for informational purposes only and is not a guarantee of coverage under any Episcopal Church Medical Trust (“ECMT”) health plan. To determine what services are covered under an ECMT health plan, the corresponding Plan Handbook should be reviewed carefully. In the event of a conflict between this information contained in this email and the official Plan documents (schedule of benefits, Summary Plan Description, booklet, booklet-certificate), the official Plan documents will govern. Unless otherwise noted, websites referenced herein that are outside the www.cpg.org domain are not associated with the ECMT and its affiliates (collectively, the “Church Pension Group”) and the Church Pension Group is not responsible for the content of any such website. All quotations are used with permission.
Wed, July 25, 2012
by Thea Mangels filed under