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Duel in the sun.

Comes again summer, and our beaches are filled with misguided humans who equate "tanned" with healthy," baking the very life out of their skins and setting themselves up for some very unpleasant consequences. One, of course, is skin cancer, of which melanoma is the most deadly. Before the tanning craze began in the '30s, only one person in 1,500 could expect to develop melanoma in one's lifetime. Today, the risk has soared to one in 105-and if we keep blasting ourselves with ultraviolet radiation at the present pace, that may increase to one in 75 by decade's end.

Skin cancer isn't the only threat-who wants to be a prune-faced senior citizen as the result of a lifetime of solar exposure? So let's get smart, folks, and take a few simple precautions when venturing seaside, or even just puttering in the garden or mowing the lawn-especially if you are fair-skinned, with red or blond hair, or freckle easily.

Don't ever let yourself-and especially your young children-get sunburned. Sunburn early in life leads to a much higher risk of skin cancer. Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 on exposed skin-and a sun block on lips, nose and other sensitive areas. Use a product that also contains blocking ingredients against UV radiation-one labeled "broad spectrum" or containing two or more UV blocking ingredients against both A and B radiation).

Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun, so try to avoid exposure when the sun's rays are strongest-between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Wear a hat with a wide brim, and keep as much skin covered with clothing as comfort dictates. Finally, don't add insult to injury by using sunlamps or tanning parlors!
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Title Annotation:preventing skin cancer while out in the sun
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Aug 1, 1991
Words:294
Previous Article:We hope Lyme was not a lemon.
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