By Diane Forrest
When I was in high school and college the big thing was to lay out and tan. We would get spray bottles and fill them with olive oil, and bake in the sun like steaks grilling on the grill. I remember one cold day in March, the sun was shining, but it was a bit chilly. That didnt stop me from getting an early start on my tan. As I was laying on the lounger I looked up and saw a helicopter hovering over me. It was my father with some work associates! They had been checking power lines, and talking about one of the perks of the job was getting to see the girls out tanning. It being cold out, they weren't having any luck until my father said, oh I know one girl out tanning! He was right.
Luckily I became educated in the dangers of U V light and my tanning days ended as well as my days of smelling like a burnt salad. Now if I am planning a day out in the sun I lather on protection with sun screen, the highest available. With this being Memorial Day weekend and the start of summer and vacations, it is the perfect time to start stocking up on Sun screen.
Sunlight consists of ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays, both of which are harmful to humans. UVA rays cause suppression of the immune system, which has a negative impact on the body's ability to protect against the development and spread of skin cancer. UVB rays cause a sunburn to occur, which can also lead to the development of skin cancer.
There are more than one million cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the United States each year. To minimize your risk, wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun — even on non-sunny days. Sunscreen should be applied 15 to 30 minutes before going outside and should be reapplied every two hours or after swimming or sweating. Even if you do not typically burn from the sun, your skin is still at risk from the harmful UV rays.
Today is Sun Screen Day. Don't forget to spread some protection on yourself, and family members, especially small children and the elderly. Enjoy the sun, and keep safe.