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UV Protection for Seniors… Why?

Some seniors can be tempted to go without sun protection during the summer months. Some think that if they were going to develop skin cancer, they would’ve by now. Unfortunately, this idea untrue. Sun protection is important for all ages.


Skin cancer develops from sun damage that happens over time, which means that older ones are more likely to develop skin cancer. This remains true even if they have not gotten a sunburn in a while. Even one sunburn as a senior could set your skin over the edge, allowing skin cancer to develop.


It was once believed that the sun damage you endure before the age of 18 is the main factor of skin cancer and sun damage. This is not the case. As we age our skin changes and our defenses against skin disease weaken. Thinner skin allows UV light to penetrate deeper, which can make you more vulnerable to skin damage. Pollution and smoking also negatively affect our body’s ability to protect us against damage from the sun. This increases our probability of getting skin cancer.


There are many simple ways to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays, many of which do not include the use of sunscreen. If possible, avoid unnecessary outdoor activity especially during midday, as this is when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Choose clothing that will provide you with sun protection, and stay in shaded areas when outdoors.


Studies have shown that foods such as salmon, red wine, and sweet potatoes also have a protective effect on the skin. Sunscreen also provides important protection. It is best to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen. This will protect against both UVA and UVB rays, which are the cause of skin aging and contribute to the development of skin cancer. Sunscreen should always have at least an SPF of 30, and it is important to remember that sunscreen labeled “water-resistant” does not mean the product is waterproof.


Use sunscreen correctly. Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before being in the sun and then reapplied every 2 hours and immediately after swimming or intense sweating. In addition to wearing the proper sunscreen while outdoors, it is also advisable to have your skin checked regularly by a dermatologist or other health care professional to ensure your skin is healthy and cancer-free.


Summer is a time for outdoor fun but being mindful of sun damage is important. The care providers at Help Home Care Corp. hope you have a happy and safe spring and summer season.


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