Applying sunscreen: Common mistakes in summer lead to skin cancer

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Sunburn hurts but usually heals after a few days. But watch out: sunburns can also cause long-term damage and, in the worst case, cause skin cancer.

Summer has arrived but with the sun comes the risk of skin cancer. But not only regular sunscreen lotion can prevent and protect the skin in the long term according to RUHR24 *. Do not take any risks with your health, if you want to test your luck you can check out slots.

Skin cancer from the sun: Take good protection, especially in summer – sun cream and more

Every year almost 280,000 people develop skin cancer, as reported by the German Cancer Aid. Skin cancer usually develops over a long period of time, which is why people over the age of 70 are particularly affected. However, it is not only the elderly who can develop skin cancer. Many cases could have been avoided with the right prevention. Sunbathing is not the only thing that plays a role though.

Pre-tanning in the solarium is particularly popular in spring or before the upcoming summer vacation, as will soon be the case with an EU-wide corona vaccination pass *. The myth prevails that a visit to the tanning bed could supposedly protect against sunburn. But this is not the case. The reason for this is the radiation spectrum in solariums. This only ensures an external and short-term tan. At the same time, the radiation exposure is about as high as in the midday sun at the equator. As a result, visits to the solarium increase the risk of skin cancer enormously.

Summer, sunburn, and lotion: the right protection – prevent skin cancer in the long term

In order to have optimal protection when sunbathing, just applying sunscreen once is not enough. Basically, the right sun protection factor (SPF) should be selected first, because even in cloudy weather the solar radiation can be strong and cause sunburn:

o SPF 6 to 10: low protection

o SPF 15 to 25: medium protection

o SPF 30 to 50: high protection

o SPF 50+: very high protection

But even with a high level of protection, sun rays can penetrate the skin and damage the cells. Especially if the sun cream has not been applied correctly or water and sweat have come into contact with the skin, the protection is less. Therefore, you should re-apply it regularly. However, the following applies: “Post-creaming helps to maintain UV protection, but this does not reset the duration of action indicated on the pack to zero.” This is what the German Cancer Aid writes in a press release.

Consumers should also ensure that the sunscreen, which is supposed to protect the skin from dangerous UV rays, is not used for more than a year *. Old creams can be harmful – even before the best-before date. A French study found that out.

Children in the sun: Good protection from the sun can prevent skin cancer in the long term

Children, in particular, should always have the highest possible protection, as young skin is particularly sensitive. Protective clothing, such as a cap or t-shirt, can increase protection. Sunburns in children should be avoided at all costs. Babies should also be protected from the sun as much as possible. Because in the first year of life you should not be exposed to direct sun (all recalls and warnings * on RUHR24).

Experienced sunbathers often make a mistake: They believe that sunburns harden the skin and that tanned skin already has sufficient protection against UV radiation. But both are wrong. Sunburn leads to damage in the cells of the skin, which can be repaired by the body itself to a certain extent.

However, if this limit is exceeded, the affected skin cells die. Skin cancer can develop from these dead cells over a longer period of time. The more often a cell is damaged by sunburn, the greater the risk.

A tan in summer: Myth refuted – applying sunscreen is essential against skin cancer

In addition, if you are tanned, you are not automatically protected from the sun. The tan caused by melanin is a defence reaction and a protective mechanism of the skin to protect itself from harmful UV rays. However, this tan corresponds to sun protection with a sun protection factor of 4, i.e. rather low.

Regular skin cancer screening by the doctor can also help identify and treat cancer in good time. * RUHR24 is part of the IPPEN.MEDIA editorial network.

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