doctor examining back of old man

UV and Melanomas: Constant Sun Exposure Can Be Harmful

One of the most dangerous effects of UV radiation from the sun is that it increases your risk of developing melanomas and other forms of skin cancer. Most of us can’t live an absolutely nocturnal life, and exposure to the sun is probably unavoidable. However, there are measures that can minimize the effects of UV radiation and drop your risk of the Big C down to a minimum.

Why Is Wolverine Wearing a Hat? Quick Answer: Melanoma

Hugh Jackman had several encounters with melanomas, and his doctor probably advised him to wear hats. Wide-brim straw cowboy hats provide excellent protection from the sun and are a popular choice among celebrities. Celebrities rely on their good looks, so developing melanomas on their face can be a big problem.  Besides, surgery can be a bit risky. Protective clothing, such as a cap or hat, blocks the sun’s rays directly, providing adequate protection for your face. Melanomas and other types of skin cancer can easily be removed if detected early. Ensuring that melanomas don’t develop on your face reduces your risk of sustaining serious complications from any surgical procedures that you may need. You can even use an umbrella on particularly sunny days. The practice is unpopular in western countries but is fairly common around Asia.

A Lot of Sunscreen

Woman applying sunscreen on her shoulderYou can’t always wear a hat or use an umbrella, but you can always apply sunscreen. High-factor sunscreen can block up to 98 percent of harmful UV radiation, but even an SPF of 15 can block 93 percent of UV radiation. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before venturing out into the sun. Sunscreen can usually protect you for a couple of hours before needing subsequent applications to remain effective. You may need to apply sunscreen more frequently if you are engaging in strenuous physical activities such as sports or trekking as sweating and moisture can cut the time sunscreen stays effective.

Forget About Pimping Your Ride—Just Tint It

Yes, use UV-filtering film on your car. Your daily commute exposes you to harmful amounts of UV radiation. The exposure is so significant—the majority of melanomas develop on the exposed left side of the body. You can always use sunscreen while driving, but adding sunscreen to your daily regimen can be a chore. Just tint your driver-side window with protective UV film, or you can just tint all of them. UV-filtering film will block 99 percent of harmful UV radiation. This film comes standard in most windshields, so you’ll only have to worry about your car windows. Your ride won’t need to look like a secret service vehicle since UV film can be as clear or as dark as you choose.

Skin cancer and melanomas aren’t as dangerous as most types of cancer, but they shouldn’t be taken lightly, either. Try to avoid prolonged sun exposure or wear protective clothing or sunscreen if you can’t. Try to get yourself checked at least once every couple of years. Early detection can mean the difference between a simple procedure and extensive surgery.