Sun Safety is one of the easiest things to forget during the sunny months of summer, but Skin Cancer is also one of the easiest to prevent. Below are our tips for staying safe and enjoying yourself in the sun, as well as a few great articles for more information.
Visit CDC’s article for: How to Control and Prevent Skin Cancer. This article previously appeared on www.Time.com.
Only 43% of people know the definition of SPF
How proficient are you in sunscreen-ese? According to a new survey in JAMA Dermatology, most people don’t understand much of what’s written on a lotion label.
Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine wanted to test people’s knowledge of sunscreen, so they surveyed 114 people who came to the dermatology clinic during the summer of 2014. Even though 93% of them had purchased a bottle in the last year, most people showed important gaps in their sunscreen smarts.
“People think that SPF equals everything,” says Dr. Roopal Kundu, one of the study’s authors and a dermatologist at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. And it does count for a lot: the sun protection factor measures a sunscreen’s ability to filter UVB rays, which are related to sunburn and skin cancer. But SPF only measures UVB rays; it doesn’t tell you anything about protection from UVA rays, Kundu says.
The most misunderstood part of sunscreen is UVA, Kundu says. “UVA is around every day; it can penetrate through window glass,” she says. Like UVB, it’s also related to an increased risk of skin cancer, but unlike UVB, it’s not filtered by the ozone at all, Kundu says. UVA doesn’t cause sunburn, but “it really leads to darkening and aging, because it penetrates deeper into the skin and has more influence in the collagen.”
There’s only one way to tell whether your sunscreen offers UVA coverage: the words “broad spectrum.” Only 34% of people in the study named “broad spectrum” labeling as an influence in their choice to buy a sunscreen, but they’re the two most crucial words to look for on a sunscreen label, Kundu says, because there’s no other metric on the bottle for UV-A coverage. Without the words “broad spectrum” your sunscreen likely doesn’t offer coverage from UVA, Kundu says.
Most active ingredients in sunscreen shield against UVB, but far fewer have UVA coverage, and only a handful offer both.
Personally, Kundu uses an SPF 30 sunscreen with the active ingredient zinc oxide, a natural sunscreen ingredient that physically—instead of chemically—blocks rays. Zinc oxide protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
So, why does a dermatologist only use SPF 30? People in the study rated a high SPF number as the number-one reason they bought one sunscreen over another, but only 43% of people in the study knew what SPF actually meant. Here’s the real definition: an SPF of 30 means that technically, you could be out in the sun 30 times longer before you get sunburned than you would be able to if you went out without sunscreen, as long as you keep reapplying it appropriately, Kundu says.
And an SPF of 15 is not half as effective as an SPF 30, contrary to what 39% of the people in the study thought. According to Kundu, SPF 15 filters about 93% of UV-B rays; SPF 30 filters about 97% of UV-B rays; and SPF 50 filters about 98% of UV-B rays. The difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50 is only a 1% filtering improvement, she says, and since SPF 30 is readily available at many different price points, that’s the one many dermatologists recommend.
How much do you need?
For a sunscreen to work as advertised, you have to use a shotglass worth for unexposed areas, Kundu says. (About half of people in the study got this wrong.)
Bottom line: Typical adults should buy a water-resistant, broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, reapply every two hours and use the right amount, Kundu says. “If we can help reduce or spot skin cancer sooner, or be more aware of it, these are the mechanisms by which we can do it.”
ARTICLES WORTH READING
How to Control and Prevent Skin Cancer
80% Of Sunscreens Don’t Really Work Or Have ‘Worrisome’ Ingredients
Top Sunscreens Are Put To The Test
This Is the Only Sunscreen Article You Need to Read
Put your own fundraising idea into action with a little help from your TCA friends.
Spark creativity and competition from coworkers/students for a good cause!
Collaborate with your favorite local business while raising awareness and funds for TCA.
Garner the support of local businesses and raffle off prizes to benefit TCA!
One person’s trash is another’s treasure!
Stir up some support with a bake sale or pancake breakfast at your office/school!
On a sunny Saturday, Teen Cancer America galloped down to Nashville, TN to watch the Iroquois Steeplechase. Sponsored by First Citizens Bank, TCA had a great day with musical performances between the horse races. Tea was provided by the wonderful Charles & Company as our celebrity ambassador Victoria Summer sang “Crazy” by Patsy Cline.
We raised awareness and funds for TCA by hosting an incredibly successful raffle and silent auction during the race.
Our tent featured performances between from Victoria Summers, William Michael Morgan, Savannah Keyes, John Gurney, Secondhand Serenade, and Tenille Arts. Thank you all for performing for us!
In addition to our lovely performers, Dr. Scott Borinstein from the Vanderbilt AYA Oncology Program, Twin Kennedy, French West Vaughan, Mallory Johnson, guests of FCB, and some young cancer survivors were also in attendance. Thank you to everyone who came out to the event in support of TCA.
See you in 2019!
Click photos below to enlarge.
Teen Cancer America’s very own board member, Zach Cohen, hosted a lovely cocktail party to raise awareness and funds for the charity. Located at Omar’s La Ranita in New York City, more than 60 guests gathered in support. TCA board member Maria Taylor and Ambassador Skye Taylor were in attendance. See the beautiful pictures below!
If you’re interested in hosting your very own cocktail party (or any event) in support of TCA,
Come experience the fantastic Nashville tradition of race day since 1941. Join us for an annual rite of spring as we host an exclusive event at the Iroquois Steeplechase in a Railside Tent, including tea and whiskey taste for celebrities and supporters to raise funds and awareness for Teen Cancer America from 11-6 pm on Saturday, May 12, 2018. Have a fun day out with the emphasis on race day pickings, larger-than-life hats, liquid libations, and crowd-pleasing recipes!
British Actress, Victoria Summer will host the event with local Nashville stars. First Citizens Bank is the presenting sponsor of this special event. Teen Cancer survivors and advocates will also be in attendance for a fantastic day at the races.
Ticket includes access to exclusive railside tent, all day gourmet food, beverages, and race programs. Tickets are $185 with all proceeds benefiting TCA.