Using sunscreen is one of those things we all know we should be doing. But many of us don’t wear it. In addition, many people over 65 don’t even think that they need it. Or perhaps they live in a part of the country that doesn’t have hot (or very sunny) weather, even in the summer and therefore think it’s not needed.
This isn’t true. No matter where you live or how many “sun hours” where you live gets, we all should be wearing sunscreen. Are there even higher risks for older adults?
Sunscreen Facts and Tips
It might be easy to think, “I’ve never worn sunscreen, so why start now?” or even “I’m not out in the sun very much, so I don’t need to wear it”. But, the American Cancer Society indicates, “Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. If you have skin cancer, it is important to know which type you have because it affects your treatment options and your outlook (prognosis). If you aren’t sure which type of skin cancer you have, ask your doctor so you can get the right information.”
Here are some quick sunscreen facts and tips:
- The average age of being diagnosed with a melanoma is 65
- Ultraviolet rays (the damaging ones) can cause skin damage in as little as 15-20 minutes.
- Cloudy days do not prevent sun damage
- Look for a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF
- Reapply every 90 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the activity you’re taking part in. If you’re sweating or swimming reapply more often
- Statistics show about 15% of older Americans protect their skin on a regular basis, or all the time
- When outside, if you have the opportunity to stay in the shade, do so
- People who have had at least 5 sunburns in their lives are at higher risk for skin cancer
- Wear a wide brimmed hat
- Lightweight materials with long sleeves and pants will help protect you and keep you cool
Wanting to live longer and healthier as we do, keeping our skin protected is critical for longevity. And it’s easier than ever, with gels, creams, sprays and any number of different brands of sunscreen.
*If you notice a new mole or that an existing mole on your body has changed in any way, speak with your doctor.
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*No information in this article is to be taken as advice, medical or otherwise. This post is not sponsored, but may contain external links to websites, articles or product examples. External links are used for example or refence purposes only and these links do not indicate specific product or website endorsement by CareGivers of America.