(HealthyResearch.com) – More Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year than all other cancers combined, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. It’s an extremely common health problem. At least one in every five people in the US will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
We can significantly decrease our risks by taking one simple action: Avoid sun damage and skin cancer by wearing sunscreen every day. Look for broad-spectrum products with an SPF of at least 30 and apply to any exposed skin.
Do You Need to Wear Sunscreen on Cloudy or Overcast Days?
Yes! It’s a common myth that people don’t need sunscreen on cloudy days. The truth is we need to wear it no matter what the weather is. That includes overcast days. The reason for this is the clouds don’t stop harmful UVA and UVB rays from penetrating and damaging the skin.
About 80% of the ultraviolet rays can reach the earth even when it’s cloudy. We may feel cooler on those days, but our skin still absorbs a good amount of UV radiation, which can lead to cell damage and skin cancer.
Do You Need to Wear Sunscreen in the Winter?
Again, the answer is yes. Most of us may reserve our sun protection for the summer months, but that’s not the only time we need it. Sunscreen is necessary year-round, including during the winter.
Both snow and ice can reflect up to 90% of the sun’s rays, according to Psys.org. Those harmful rays can cause skin cancer. And that’s not all. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says UV radiation is the source of around 90% of all wrinkles and premature ageing.
UV rays can also be a big problem on the ski slopes. The WHO warns that for every 1,000 feet above sea level, UV radiation exposure increases by about 5%. During the wintertime, the ozone layer is at its thinnest. That means more of the sun’s rays get through to our skin.
Do You Need to Wear Sunscreen Inside?
If you’re anywhere near a window, then yes, according to CNN. Glass blocks out most UVB rays, which cause sunburns, damaged skin cell DNA and many skin cancers — but they don’t prevent all of the UVB rays from getting through, and they offer no protection against UVA rays. So whether a person is driving in the car or working indoors near a window, sunscreen may still be necessary.
Additional Reasons to Wear Sunscreen Every Day
Sunscreen protects us from more than skin damage, premature ageing and potential cancer. It also prevents skin inflammation. Studies show the sun’s damaging UV rays can suppress the immune system. This leads to inflammation and free radical cell damage. When that happens, it decreases the body’s ability to protect itself from skin cancers. Sunscreen can prevent this.
Sunscreen can also prevent sun sensitivity, according to NursingCenter.com. For people with sun-sensitive conditions like rosacea and lupus, sunscreens can be particularly helpful. This can prevent the redness and burning of the skin that comes from exposure to UV radiation.
The bottom line is it’s important to wear sunscreen every day, no matter the weather or time of year, even when indoors. It only takes a few minutes to put it on. The many benefits could far outweigh the extra effort.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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