No Tan is Worth Dying For

| by Dr Gwenn

Heading out for a family walk over the weekend, we barely got beyond
the end of the driveway before we quickly turned back...sunblock. We
forgot to goop! A quick retreat back to the garage, we all lathered up
and were on our way.

Over kill for such a mild sun day? Not in
our experience. We've not only been caught off guard before and had
"low intensity" sun days create rather intense burns behind necks,
knees and arms, but have a family history of melanoma that haunts us
ever time we step outside. My husband's dad lost his life to melanoma.
He was in the Navy and sunblock wasn't what it is today, nor was the
treatment for melanoma. He didn't have the control we do today and
would be really upset with us for tossing caution to the wind with our
skin and our kids.

But, over 2/3 of adults are doing just that! According to a new survey out by Consumer Reports National Research Center only 1/3 of us are actually using sunscreen.

As reported by ABC news,
there are 1 million cases of skin cancer a year and counting, melanoma,
a year with 90% of those related to sun-exposure. We are truly playing
with fire every time we step outside without sunblock on.

nothing wrong with getting a tan if you some common sense and use
sunblock - SPF 15 or higher with UVA and UVB protection. The key is to
avoid becoming a french fry and to remember to reapply the sunblock
liberally and often (each hour is the expert recommendation). As Dr.
Doris Day, a NYC dermatologist interviewed by ABC noted: "You need to
go through sunscreen...One bottle should not last a summer."

too, need sun protection and it's a myth that babies can not have
sunblock applied to their skin. Infants older than 6 months of age can
have the sunscreen applied to the entire skin and infants under 6
months of age can have sunscreen applied to very exposed area such as
the hands and face in just the amount needed to cover those areas.

the way, sun protection isn't just for our weekend warrior moments.
Think of it as part of your every day skin care. If your kids walk to
and from school, they need sun protection. If you walk outside during
your work day, you need sun protection. Many daily moisturizers now
include SPF 15 and are great for that daily purpose where you need a
bit of protection but not the intense protection as you do on weekends
when outdoors more.

So, go ahead and get outside and get some
sun...just do it safely and take the few extra minutes to apply sun
protection. It's fine to get a tan but no tan is worth dying for and
that's the point we all have to remember.

For more tips on sun safety for infants and kids, click here and here.