Sun exposure

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2016

Catching a few rays while lying out or enjoying outdoors activities is one thing, but it should be done while wearing the proper sun protection.
My family has been plagued with skin cancer for generations, teaching me that protecting yourself can not only help your health, but also your family and friends that love and care for you.
Part of my family is originally from Southern California where it never rains and the sun seems to never go away. The other side is from my home state of North Carolina, where it can very hot at times.
When meeting the family for the first time, it could immediately be assumed that we love being outdoors, and it’s true. I am not saying there is anything wrong with playing outside; in fact, I encourage it. Too many kids are stuck behind doors, instead of stepping through them to enjoy the true adventures of life.
As a child my family used to always remark I would get tan rather than burn, no matter how long I spent lying in the sand of the Carolina coasts, but things change.
Skin gets more sensitive the older you get. Drinking plenty of fluids to keep your skin hydrated is recommended for everyone, but almost a necessity the older we get.
My advice would be to not only wear a high SPF sunscreen, but also seek shade when possible. Also, get a hat. The most forgotten place to put sunscreen is your head, something I seem to never remember. Plus it’s extremely embarrassing to have a sunglass tan line during the summer.
It’s understandable that people get burnt sometimes even when they wear sunscreen, but it should still be applied. No one can get a tan in a day; it’s a process that needs proper technique and appropriate application of protection each day.
If burnt, use God’s gift to Earth, aloe, and drink lots of fluids.
Skin cancer is a scary thing and should be taken seriously. The common thought process of cancer is, “It won’t happen to me,” which could be true, but why risk it? The lives of loved ones are not worth a temporary hue of the skin, so protect yourself and have fun outdoors this summer.

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