Fun in the sun poses consequences in long run

Summer is upon us, and people everywhere are baring it all to get some sun. What many don’t know, however, is that becoming a bronzed beauty can have some serious side effects, the Texas Agricultural Extension reports. Extension associate Jennifer Janssen of College Station said skin cancer is a huge consequence of spending time in the sun. “There are many dangers from too much sun exposure,” she said. “Dehydration, exhaustion, sunburn, and heatstroke are well known, but many tend to forget how prevalent skin cancer is.” Sun worshippers everywhere can protect themselves with a few simple steps, but Janssen said many people don’t take the time. “The easiest method is called slip, slap, and slop,” she said. “Slip on a cotton shirt, slap on a hat with a three-inch brim, and slop on some sunscreen.” Janssen said the sunscreen should have a high SPF, or skin protection factor, to work properly. “I recommend SPF 30 for most skin types,” she said. “Even people with dark skin can suffer in the sun.” The sun is at its hottest between the hours of 10 in the morning and four in the afternoon. Janssen said people that spend this time outdoors should check regularly for signs of skin cancer. “By using the ABCDs of skin cancer, it is easy to determine if you are at risk,” she said. Look closely at moles, warts and sores for the signs.” ‘ Asymmetry’if both sides aren’t the same; ‘ Border’if it is irregular or jaded; ‘ Color’if shade is inconsistent or has recently changed; and ‘ Diameter’if it is bigger than a pencil eraser “Most people should do self-skin exams by looking at their bodies in a mirror,” she said. “It is also wise to see a dermatologist at lest once a year.” Janssen said certain types of people are more susceptible to skin damage from the sun than others. People with fair skin and light hair and eyes, people who live in the South, and anyone who has had three or more blistering sunburns are more likely to burn. “Although some people burn more easily, everyone is vulnerable to skin damage and skin cancer,” she said. “People with darker complexions do get skin cancer, but it usually is discovered at a later and more dangerous state.”

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