Everyone knows that too much exposure to the sun can result in a painful burn, and many people are also at risk for developing skin cancer. While a sunburn will be obvious within a few hours, the signs of skin cancer may take a few years to appear. People who have dark skin and dark eyes naturally have plenty of melanin in their skin, so they hardly ever experience sunburn. Melanin is a protective pigment in their skin that protects them from sunburn, and it also guards against skin damage that could lead to skin cancer.
People who have light skin, eyes, and hair have the highest risk of experiencing severe sunburn, and they are also the most likely ones to be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer. Any dark spots or freckles that expand, develop uneven borders, thicken or bleed should be immediately checked by a dermatologist. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, and it can be fatal if not identified and removed in the early stages.
There are many different types and brands of sunscreen available these days, but some are not as effective as others and may contain chemicals that are harmful. The safest and most effective sunscreens are broad spectrum, paraben, oxybenzone and fragrance-free. Everyone should choose a sunscreen with at least a sun protection factor of 30, and light skinned people require a higher SPF rating. Anyone wanting to make sure their sunscreen is offering enough protection can learn more through an internet search or discussing the subject with their health care provider.
While sunscreen companies are mostly focused on creating a product that is effective and safe for humans, some are also taking into consideration whether the sunscreens they sell are also safe for the environment. Recent studies show some evidence that oxybenzone and certain other chemicals found in sun protection products may have a detrimental effect on the oceans coral reefs. While other environmental factors such as rising ocean temperatures may also be a factor, sunscreen manufacturers can help by removing potentially harmful ingredients from their products.
Most people are interested in preserving the natural beauty of the environment, so using sunscreen that that is safe for both humans and the ocean are important. It is not enough to simply purchase the most convenient sunscreen on the shelf; people should also educate themselves about environmental safety.