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Is Sunscreen Really Necessary?

July 5th, 2018

Using sunscreen can be a hassle, especially if you’re just running a quick errand. But is it really necessary? Most people would agree it is. Even a short amount of time in the sun without protection can lead to a sunburn, which eventually can lead to skin cancer, and the possibility of getting burned when exposed for long periods of time is much higher, which increases the risk of cancer, as well as premature wrinkles and aging. You may not even realize you are getting burned if clouds or wind make it seem cooler than it actually is. I have often heard you are more likely to get sunburned when the sky is overcast because you don’t feel the burn until it is too late.

Even running short errands can expose you to the possibility of getting sunburned when you don’t use sunscreen, even if it’s only your arm getting sun through a car window. We’ve all had a “driving tan” at one time or another!

The greatest danger of not using sunscreen is melanoma, a type of skin cancer which kills more than 20,000 people each year, with numbers steadily growing. They say people with blue/green eyes, fair skin, and blond or red hair are among the greatest at risk for melanoma because they have less melanin than those with darker skin. For some people, a sunburn is a precursor to a tan, and others never burn at all. That doesn’t mean you don’t need sunscreen.

In addition to the danger of skin cancer, sunburns can be extremely painful and even agonizing blisters, taking days to reach the point where you can touch the burned area without it hurting. And no matter how much you moisturize, it usually leads to peeling skin which everyone can agree is not very attractive. So yes, sunscreen is really necessary to protect yourself and prevent skin cancer.

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