With the weather bureau suggesting that we should expect hot dry conditions over the next several months as much as 80% increase on the maximum temperatures, there is little doubt our bodies will be exposed to damaging harmful radiation which can lead to skin damage and even skin cancer. But what are the facts? What do we need to do to protect ourselves and our family? There are a few very important factors that can dramatically reduce the precedence of getting burnt this summer.
Two out of every three Australians will be diagnosed with a form of skin cancer by the time they are seventy years of age.
Australia and New Zealand have the worst incidence and mortality rates from melanoma in the world with 1-24 males developing melanoma by the time they are 75 and 1 in 34 for females based on the Australian department of health and aging statistics.
Recent studies have identified that the mineral Selenium taken either topically or ingested can lower the incidence of cancer. Patients diagnosed with cancer that took the mineral had a 37% reduction in malignancies, 50% reduction in death from skin cancer and an overall 17% reduction in mortality rates The Journal of the American Medical Association in 1996
Vitamin C can help lower the consequences of prolonged sun exposure.
Vitamin E can reduce photoageing, wrinkles, and improve skin texture.
Uv or ultra violet rays are what can damage our skin. There are three groups of radiation all impacting different areas of the body. UVA rays impact the deeper layers of the skin resulting in the destruction of elastin and collagen and can produce premature aging and some cancers, whilst UVB rays are the rays responsible for sunburn. It is very important to understand the difference. UVC rays are the most dangerous of all and are mostly absorbed by the ozone layer of the atmosphere which has little or no impact on our bodies.
We usually identify excessive sun exposure by the amount of sun burn or reddening of the skin however this is the impact of UVB rays – The UVA rays are far more harmful and these are the ones we don’t see. This is one of the reasons that Australia has such a high rate of skin cancer. Simply wearing a T shirt in the sun will help to stop the penetration of UVB rays but may be less effective in preventing UVA damage.
The Fitzpatrick Scale
The Fitzpatrick scale is a guide to understand people’s skin tone and the relationship of the colour of your skin and sunburn. Genetic predisposition plays a vital role in how your skin is able to absorb UV rays. People that have blue, grey or green eyes with pale skin with many freckles, and who find that when exposed to the sun they never tan, but only burn and blister, are regarded as Fitzpatrick scale type 1 – for example Nicole Kidman.
The scale below will determine how sensitive your skin is to the damaging rays of the sun
Call Jason for information or an appointment.