Now that summer is here, it is important to apply sunscreen if you are going to be outside for any length of time regardless of your age. Sometimes seniors mistakenly think since they have never had skin cancer, they probably are not going to get it now. However the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF) warns that older adults have already sustained decades of damage from the sun, which increases the risk of developing skin cancer.
The SCF explains that, “Suffering just five sunburns over your lifetime more than doubles your chances of developing melanoma, and each successive tan or sunburn raises the risks further.” While it is not known how much damage results in skin cancer, we do know it is important to continue to protect our skin.
In addition statistics show skin cancer to be on the rise. Scientists speculate one reason for this is the earth’s ozone layer has depleted, which is allowing increased levels of UV-B to reach the Earth. This compounds the negative effects of spending too much time in the sun and can cause the development of wrinkles and premature aging skin. Wearing sunscreen can also help prevent facial brown spots and skin discolorations as well as reduce the appearance of facial red veins and blotchiness.
The experts stress that sun precautions for seniors is fairly easy. To start with, stay out of tanning beds. Use effective sun protection and avoid spending time outdoors between 10 AM and 4 PM when UV rays are the most intense. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sun-safe clothing and UV-filtering sunglasses. Sunscreen should be SPF 15 or higher, and if you intend to be out for longer periods, use a water resistance 30+ SPF. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming.
There is no need to worry about a lack of Vitamin D if you always wear sunscreen. Doctors report you get your vitamin D requirement of 600 IU or 15mcg per day with normal daily outdoor activities of five to 30 minutes two times a week.
This post is intended for informational purposes only. Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.
MorningStar at Arrowhead represents the best in senior living with a unique mission statement “to honor, to serve, to invest.” We have built our foundation on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve…all of which contributes to creating a true home for residents amid a beautiful, serene setting. Please schedule a visit to experience firsthand our beautiful community.