Long lazy youthful days spent lounging in the sun, slathering ourselves in coconut oil.
What we went through to achieve the perfect tan.
But fast-forward 20 years and look again.
Evidence of those carefree and unprotected days spent basking in the sun, now show up on your face, chest, neck and arms.
Sun-damaged skin is due to our body being bombarded by deadly radiation. Over a lifetime, repeated episodes of sunburn and unprotected exposure to the sun can increase our risk of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.
How UV effects us
Radiation is all around us in the atmosphere, in the form of UV rays, but what exactly are UV rays? Essentially they are similar to light rays because both light and sound travel in waves.
Whilst we can hear and see many sound and light waves, ultraviolet rays are like the pitch of a dog whistle, the frequency is higher than our eyes can see.
Frequency waves such as X rays and Gamma rays are from radioactive material, have really high frequencies and we all know how harmful these can be.
This is subject we discuss in the great detail in the article electromagnetic spectrum.
Sun damaged skin
How the damage develops, is unique to each person.
Some people will get dark spots, discoloration, and uneven skin tone.
In others, it can cause photo ageing that shows as thick sallow skin, wrinkles and loose contours.
In others it can cause melanoma and other skin cancers, fortunately, there are some simple guidelines that can be put in place, to ensure your skin stays healthy.
Melanomas the deadly facts
- melanoma is the most common cancerous malignant tumour. It begins in the melanocyte cells, which are responsible for producing pigment in the skin
- a cancerous tumour starts from one cell, this cell then becomes abnormal and multiplies out of control
- one blistering sunburn in childhood can potentially double a person’s chance of developing melanoma later in life
- melanoma counts for almost 3% of all newly diagnosed cancers each year
- more than 73% of all skin cancer deaths are from melanoma
- almost 8000 men and women are expected to die from the disease every year
- advanced melanoma spreads to internal organs and can result in death
- unlike many types of cancer, a large number of cases also occur in young adults
- if detected early, treatment can have a high success rate
- the survival rate falls between 15% and 65% with late detection, depending on how far the disease spreads
- most people aren’t aware that their sun tan lotion may not give them protection against melanoma
- more women than men get melanoma
The naked truth
Here at The Naked Chemist, we feel the facts really do speak for themselves.
Whilst treatment for sun damaged skin is possible, it is not always successful, with the number of cases of skin cancer cases quadrupling since the 1970s there are no signs that these rates are going to slow down any time soon.
It is up to us to learn to protect ourselves, this we can do, by putting safe sun practices in place.
Because the reality is, it could save your life.