• Surprising Things You Should Know About the Sun and Skin Cancer

    by Dr. Jeanette Altieri
    on May 28th, 2015

You have heard it over and over again:

Stay out of the sun!

Sun is bad for your skin.

Use sunscreen or you’ll get skin cancer!

IS OUR FEAR OF THE SUN RATIONAL?

New research may change how you feel about that blazing star that keeps our planet warm.

It turns out that totally avoiding the sun, as in s
taying indoors all summer, could actually increase your risk for skin cancer. You read that right – INCREASE. Why is this? Because vitamin D, which metabolizes when UV rays hit your skin, has actually been proven to REDUCE your risk of melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer. You read that right, too.

LACK OF VITAMIN D LEADS TO DEATH

It sounds crazy, but a 20-year study of 30,000 women who regularly avoided the sun were twice as likely to die than women who spent time sunbathing, or gardening, or vacationing in tropical places! So, totally avoiding the sun could really have an adverse effect.

SHOULD YOU STILL WEAR SUNSCREEN?

Assuming you are not going to avoid the sun completely this summer, the answer to this question is: yes and no. It gets a little tricky. Because your skin needs the UV rays to metabolize vitamin D, if you slather yourself with sunscreen, you probably won’t get the benefits of sun exposure. But, if you stay in the sun too long without any sunscreen at all, then you may be increasing your risk for sun damage, which leads to several types of skin cancer.
Ideally, researchers say, you should expose your unprotected skin to the sun for a short amount of time, or just before your skin turns pink. Then, cover yourself with a thin layer of clothing. That way, you will get the benefits of vitamin D without increasing your risk of sun damage. Protect your face with a wide-brimmed hat, though, because your skin is more sensitive to the sun than the rest of your body.

For more healthy tips, check out other articles on the AC Spine & Wellness blog and on our Facebook page.

Have a happy, healthy summer!

Author Dr. Jeanette Altieri Dr. Jeanette Altieri is a licensed Chiropractor serving the Lawrenceville community for more than 20 years.She is certified in the Webster technique, a safe and gentle technique for turning breech babies, with specialty areas in Nutrition, Pediatrics, and Pregnancy. She is an international speaker, speaking to chiropractors, their families and staff about the care of infants, children, pregnancy and motivation. She also co-hosted a local radio talk show, “Health Talk,” to help educate people on the benefits of alternative therapies and wellness.

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