28 May, 2020 09:34 PM

“National (American) Don’t Fry Day”, is an initiative of the Council for Skin Cancer Prevention to increase educational awareness of the risks of overexposure to the sun. This day aims to remind everyone about theimportance of sun safety and sun protection.

A measured amount of sun exposure is not entirely bad. Sunlight is good for people experiencing seasonal affective disorder and to give them a sense of well-being. Sun exposure facilitates vitamin D production, important for bone health, healthy brain and immune system. Some sun exposure helps treat skin disorders such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. However, too much sun can cause premature skin ageing, wrinkles, lax skin, brown spots, and mutations in skin cells that can lead to skin disorders and cancer.

Skin cancer is a concern, and the American Cancer Society estimates that one American dies every hour from skin cancer. Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, from the sun and other sources like tanning beds, are the primary cause of skin cancer. Although, individuals from all races and ethnic backgrounds are at risk of skin cancer, but individuals with light- toned-skin are more susceptible to UV damage. Individuals with family history of skin cancer, many moles or freckles, or history of severe sunburns are at higher risk of skin cancer as well. Skin cancer is curable if it is found early. Early detection can be done by examining your skin periodically and recognizing changes in moles and skin growths. Safe andsmart sun practices can protect from such damage.

The first step to safe sun practices is to protect your skin when enjoying the outdoors with precautions like: do not burn or tan; seek shade; wear sunglasses; use right clothing; use sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. It is important to be aware that sunscreens cannot protect against all of the  sun's radiation. Also, sunscreens can cause allergic reactions such as rash, itching in individuals who are allergic to some drugs such as sulfa,

PABA, anesthetic. Protect yourself from the harsh sun, avoid being out in direct sunlight in the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are strongest. Spring breaks are fun and much needed and getting some sun might be good for the soul. Safe sun practices and bringing changes like including more indoor fun activities during peak sun/ UV index, rather than staying out in the sun all day, can help you and your family.