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June 15, 2016

Why Sun Protection is Important

Summer is almost here and you’re probably looking forward to the gorgeous, sunny weather. But are you remembering to factor in sun protection?

We all love the warm summer sun! Unfortunately the sun is also dangerous, and many of us underestimate just how harmful it really is. According to a 2011 Canadian Sun Care survey conducted by Nielsen among 5,000 households, nearly one-third of Canadians are not using sunscreen while outdoors, putting them at risk from the sun’s harmful rays.

Watch out for photoaging

Repeated sun exposure is the leading cause of premature skin aging. This is known as photoaging. It occurs because the sun’s ultraviolet rays alter the normal structure of the skin, causing the appearance of wrinkles and brown spots. 

The signs of photoaging can generally be seen on sun-exposed areas, such as the face, neck and back of the hands. The damage it causes makes you look older than you are. Now that’s reason enough to always protect yourself from the sun! 

Sun and cancer

Prolonged exposure to UV rays is also the leading cause of skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in Canada. According to Canadian Cancer Statistics 2015, the Canadian Cancer Association, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the various provincial and territorial cancer associations expect approximately 78,000 new non-melanoma cancer cases and 7,000 new cases of melanoma in 2015.   

The risk of skin cancer varies based on skin type and the amount of radiation to which a person has been exposed. Someone with fair skin and blond or red hair who burns easily will be at greater risk. The same is true of people who have a history of extensive sun exposure. 

UVB and UVA rays

Two types of solar radiation – UVB and UVA – pose a threat to our skin and increase our risk of skin cancer. UVB rays are responsible for sunburns, while UVAs cause premature skin aging. Exposure to both types of radiation significantly increases the risk for skin cancer. Remember that even on overcast days, UV rays reach our skin, since they penetrate clouds. 

Sunscreen: Safe, effective protection 

The CDA’s position on sunscreen is clear: it is a safe, highly effective way to protect yourself from the damaging rays of the sun.  Over the years, there have been alarming stories regarding the use of sunscreen. Most of this information is not founded on scientific evidence. 

To make sure the sunscreen you choose is a quality product that will provide proper protection from UVB and UVA rays, look for the CDA logo. If you need more information about available sun protection products, just ask your family pharmacist. Keep in mind that staying in the shade, avoiding the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and wearing a hat and clothes that cover the body are other good habits to take when it comes to protecting you and your family.

Pharmacy services

If you need help picking the right sunscreen, get professional advice from your family pharmacist or beauty consultant.  They are familiar with all aspects of sun protection.

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The Website deals with health-related topics. The information presented has been validated by experts and is accurate at the time of posting. In no way does it replace the opinion of a health care professional. Uniprix Inc. and its affiliated pharmacists accept no liability whatsoever in connection with the information provided on this Website.