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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Dr. Fitness Tells You How To Protect Your Skin!

I had a great holiday weekend and I am happy to be back to do another great show!! I was down in Miami visiting my fiance's family. It's been a while since I visited the great beaches of Florida and there is nothing like those red flags and strong riptides to keep you on your "A" game especially with little kids. So I didn't get eaten by sharks but I did get to see a gator while on my morning run. The guy who stopped me along the way to show me of his discovery said it was 6 feet long. I just responded that they are very fast going forward but not known for there change of direction or abilities to go backward. I did ,however, get attacked by two birds along the way on another run. I thought I was making this up in my head until these two birds kept doing "fly bys" inches from my head. I thought I was done with my nature experience until we drove back to Atlanta and experienced something out of a Stephen King novel. Millions upon Millions of "love bugs" being smashed against the windshield with wings and guts and lord knows what. I could barely see!!!! So, if you want a true wild life experience, go visit Florida!!! While I was basking in the sun down in Florida, I kept thinking of the same thing....my skin!!! so here is some info about protecting your skin and about sunblockers!!! I hope you enjoy!!!

Melanoma is now the leading cancer among women ages 25 to 29. And it's the second most prevalent form of cancer - after breast cancer - among women 30 to 34. One in six Americans can now expect to get skin cancer in his or her lifetime. And more than one million new cases of skin cancer will be di agnosed in the United States this year. Most result from sun exposure accumulated before age 18.

There are two types of damaging wavelengths. The short UVB rays that cause sunburn. And the longer UVA rays. These radiate down on us all day, every day, whenever natural light strikes our skin. They can reach you through clouds, smog and even glass - the reason people who drive a lot are more wrinkled on the left side of their faces.
Once UVA rays were believed benign but it's now known that these all-day rays are the big nasty. They make their way though skin's outer layer and penetrate deeper into the dermis paving the way for wrinkles by slowly breaking down elastin (skin's rubber band-like tissue that supports skin and gives it structure). Then to add insult to injury, they actually up the destructive effects of UVB rays.
Many sunscreens do a great job at blocking UVB rays. And people who use them think they're dodging danger. But by believing we're safe and staying out longer, we wind up getting even heftier doses of damaging UVA rays.
1. Using sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect against all forms of skin cancer. Use at least one ounce (enough to fill a shot glass) to completely cover exposed areas of your body.
2. stay out of the sun when it is high in the sky and wearing hats and other protective clothing
3. Use at least one ounce (enough to fill a shot glass) to completely cover exposed areas of your body.
4. stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. standard time from April through September.
5. Take special precautions on beaches, near reflective bodies of water, at high altitudes, and low latitudes.
6. You'll get added protection by wearing a wide brim hat and sunglasses (make sure they block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB radiation).
What Are Sunscreens?
Sunscreens are chemical agents that help prevent the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. Two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB, damage the skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. UVB is the chief culprit behind sunburn, while UVA rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply, are associated with wrinkling, leathering, sagging, and other effects of photoaging. They also exacerbate the carcinogenic effects of UVB rays, and increasingly are being seen as a cause of skin cancer on their own. Sunscreens vary in their ability to protect against UVA and UVB.
What Is SPF?
Most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher do an excellent job of protecting against UVB. SPF — or Sun Protection Factor — is a measure of a sunscreen's ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. Here's how it works: If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer — about five hours.
Another way to look at it is in terms of percentages: SPF 15 blocks approximately 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent; and SPF 50 blocks 99 percent. They may seem like negligible differences, but if you are light-sensitive, or have a history of skin cancer, those extra percentages will make a difference. And as you can see, no sunscreen can block all UV rays.
But there are problems with the SPF model: First, no sunscreen, regardless of strength, should be expected to stay effective longer than two hours without reapplication. Second, "reddening" of the skin is a reaction to UVB rays alone and tells you little about what UVA damage you may be getting. Plenty of damage can be done without the red flag of sunburn being raised.
Who Should Use Sunscreen?
Anyone over the age of six months should use a sunscreen daily. Even those who work inside are exposed to ultraviolet radiation for brief periods throughout the day. Also, UVA is not blocked by most windows.
Children under the age of six months should not be exposed to the sun. Shade and protective clothing are the best ways to protect infants from the sun. Read more about the importance of protecting your infant from the sun here.
What Type of Sunscreen Should I Use?
The answer depends on how much sun exposure you're anticipating. In all cases we recommend a broad-spectrum sunscreen offering protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
Many after-shave lotions and moisturizers have a sunscreen (usually SPF 15 or greater) already in them, and this is sufficient for everyday activities with a few minutes here and there in the sun. However, if you work outside or spend a lot of time outdoors, you need stronger, water-resistant, beachwear-type sunscreen that holds together on your skin. The "water resistant" and "very water resistant" types are also good for hot days or while playing sports, because they're less likely to drip into your eyes. However, these sunscreens may not be as good for everyday wear. They are stickier, don't go as well with makeup, and need to be reapplied every two hours.
Many of the sunscreens available in the US today combine several different active chemical sunscreen ingredients in order to provide broad-spectrum protection. Usually, at least three active ingredients are called for. These generally include PABA derivatives, salicylates, and/or cinnamates (octylmethoxycinnamate and cinoxate) for UVB absorption; benzophenones (such as oxybenzone and sulisobenzone) for shorter-wavelength UVA protection; and avobenzone (Parsol 1789), ecamsule (Mexoryl), titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide for the remaining UVA spectrum.
How much sunscreen should I use and how often should I put it on?
To ensure that you get the full SPF of a sunscreen, you need to apply 1 oz – about a shot glass full. Studies show that most people apply only half to a quarter of that amount, which means the actual SPF they have on their body is lower than advertised. During a long day at the beach, one person should use around one half to one quarter of an 8 oz. bottle. Sunscreens should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin. Reapplication of sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place, so reapply the same amount every two hours. Sunscreens should be reapplied immediately after swimming, toweling off, or sweating a great deal.
Common myths
Wearing sunscreen can cause vitamin D deficiency.
There is some controversy regarding this issue, but few dermatologists believe (and no studies have shown) that sunscreens cause vitamin D deficiency. Also, vitamin D is available in dietary supplements and foods such as salmon and eggs, as well as enriched milk and orange juice.
If it's cold or cloudy outside, you don't need sunscreen.
This is not true. Up to 40 percent of the sun's ultraviolet radiation reaches the earth on a completely cloudy day. This misperception often leads to the most serious sunburns, because people spend all day outdoors with no protection from the sun.
80 percent of your sun exposure comes as a child, so it's too late to do anything now.
It appears that this universally promoted idea was based largely on a misinterpretation. A recent multi-center study showed that we get less than 25 percent of our total sun exposure by age 18. In fact, it is men over the age of 40 who spend the most time outdoors, and get the highest annual doses of UV rays. And since adult Americans are living longer and spending more leisure time outdoors, preventing ongoing skin damage will continue to be an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Buy a high-quality product with an SPF of 15 or higher; check its ingredients to make sure it offers broad-spectrum protection; and decide whether it works better for everyday incidental use or extended outdoor use.


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