The summer months are quickly approaching, meaning it’s time to bust out the sunscreen as you and your family vacation on beaches and by the pool. When choosing a sunscreen, it’s crucial to note the importance of SPF protection and remember that sunscreen is crucial in all climates and regions of the country, even northern climates like Washington and North Dakota. SPF is an important number for a number of reasons, here are just a few of them.
The Importance of SPF
SPF Decreases Probability of Cancer
The first and most important reason you need to wear sunscreen with a high SPF is that SPF will decrease the likelihood you get cancer from sun exposure. Sun rays are ultraviolet and can increase the chance of skin cancer the longer you’re outside, but sunscreen with high SPF will protect you from the radiation given off by the rays and decrease your chances of developing diseases such as skin cancer. One of the deadliest types of skin cancer is melanoma, which is greatly reduced in risk when you wear sunscreen with a high SPF.
SPF Saves You from Sunburn
Skin cancer is not the only detriment you have to be wary of when going outside for a prolonged time during the summer months. Other illnesses and ailments exist too, such as sunburn and heat exhaustion. Both of these illnesses can be greatly reduced by wearing sunscreen with a high SPF.
Heatstroke and heat exhaustion can both strike suddenly, and it’s important to drink plenty of water on top of wearing sunscreen to reduce both the likelihood and severity of a case of heatstroke or heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can cause cramping, nausea, and muscle fatigue.
Protect Yourself Because the Ozone Can’t
The ozone is a layer of the atmosphere that has been slowly eroding over the last several years because of greenhouse gasses and other manmade pollutants. You have to take the onus of protecting your skin on yourself because the ozone layer is no longer capable of providing the full array of protection it once could.
The ozone layer was once responsible for absorbing many of the harmful UVB rays present in the atmosphere, but as the ozone erodes, more of these rays break through and reach the population on the Earth’s surface. It’s more important than ever to protect yourself and your skin because there is no natural barrier to harsh ultraviolet rays.
SPF Helps Prevent Aging
One of the most obvious and avoidable forms of advanced aging comes from increased and prolonged sun exposure. In addition to cancer and heat stroke, the skin ages rapidly while in the sun because of the UV exposure present outside. When you go outside, you should wear sunscreen with a high SPF content to protect not only the health of your skin but its appearance and age. Many signs of advanced aging, such as wrinkles and dry skin, come from being in the sun too long.
You can avoid both of these and other symptoms by wearing high SPF sunscreen and limiting the time you’re in the sun to a few hours per day. Daily application of sunscreen is important because it helps your skin appear younger and healthier in every way, shape, and form.
Set An Example
Many children and even some teenagers don’t realize just how harmful the rays of the sun can be. You can set an example for your children and others by wearing sunscreen before going out into the sun.
Children learn primarily from watching what others do and you can help them understand the ill effects of the sun by teaching them that sunscreen is important and should be worn daily when they go out to play. You can help teach kids the importance of sunscreen from an early age by wearing it when you go out, helping them form healthy habits which will last a lifetime.
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