Faith Regional Health Services | living WELL | Spring 2022

6 FAITH REGIONAL HEALTH SERVICES HELLO THERE , SUNSHINE! THERE’S NO DENYING IT: Soaking up the sun and getting a tan can feel really good—especially after a long season of cold temperatures and winter-white skin. But (you knew there was a but coming) that good feeling and those tanned arms can be a bad thing. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can permanently damage the cells of your skin—a tan is actually a sign of damaged skin. This may trigger wrinkles; dark spots; or dry, leathery skin. Of course, the biggest threat from too much UV exposure is skin cancer. Time spent sunbathing raises the risk of deadly melanoma as well as nonmelanoma skin cancers. And while many people believe that skin cancer can take decades to develop, melanoma is the second most common cancer in young women 15 to 29 years old. Enjoy the sun, skip the tan Enjoy the sun safely No one says you have to hide from the sun—after all, being active outdoors is good for you. Still, you can’t use that as an excuse to get a tan. To enjoy the warmth of the sun without exposing yourself to risk: Slather up. Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Put a thick layer on all parts of your exposed skin before you head outside, even on slightly cloudy or cool days. Dress for success. Put on a hat with a brim that’s wide enough to shade your face, ears and the back of your neck. And, as much as possible, try to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Sources: American Academy of Dermatology; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Food and Drug Administration