The Sun Heals As Well As Harms
Despite the well-publicized harmful
effects of the sun, there is a
wonderfully positive side to sun
exposure. The best approach is to avoid
the sun during peak hours, and rely
more on shade and physical barriers
than chemical barriers.
The Healing Sun
- Up to 75 percent of Vitamin-D comes
from sun exposure, which is necessary
to prevent rickets and osteoporosis.
- Sunshine is a more reliable source of
Vitamin-D than milk.
- Spend 10 to 15 minutes in the sun
without sunscreen before 11am or after
- Fresh air and sunshine are still
healthful, in off peak hours, with
- Sun exposure may reduce the risk of
The Harmful Sun
One million Americans and about 60,000
Canadians will get skin cancer every
year from sun exposure. A child born
today has a 1 in 7 chance of developing
skin cancer during her lifetime.
UVB (B for Burning): UVB affects the
outer layers of the skin and causes
sunburn, delayed tanning, wrinkling,
and skin cancer. It is strongest
between 11am and 4pm from early spring
to early fall.
UVA (A for Aging): UVA do not burn but
penetrate the skin deeply causing aging
skin, sagging and skin cancer. They are
present all year round and throughout
High Risk Factors for Skin Cancer
- Red or blond hair.
- Blue, green or grey eyes.
- Freckles easily or has many moles.
- Always burns before tanning.
- Two or more blistering sunburns before
- Works or spends a lot of time outdoors.
Don't Rely On Sunscreen Alone, RememberThe Eight S's
- Seek shade.
- Slip on a shirt.
- Slap on a sombrero.
- Slop on some sunscreen.
How To Protect Yourself
- Stay out of the direct sun from 11 am
to 4 pm; seek out shade or carry a
large umbrella. If you must be out in
the sun during that time do the
- Put on sunglasses with 100 percent UV
- Wear a wide brimmed hat, a long sleeved
shirt, long pants.
- Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen that
contains PABA and NON-PABA with a SPF
(sun protection factor) of at least 8
for dark skinned people and 15 for fair
- The newest sunscreens contain the
antioxidant vitamins: Vitamin-E,
Vitamin-C and betacarotene, which
provide protection against UV damage.
- If you want a tanned look, eat
excessive amounts of foods high in
beta-carotene, eg. carrot juice, and/or
take betacarotene supplements.
- Avoid indoor tanning devices which emit
2 to 5 times more UVA than the sun.
- Sunscreens have never been proven to
prevent skin cancer, only sunburn.
- Some researchers have postulated a link
between the heavy use of chemical
sunscreens and the rise in skin cancer