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Debunking the top sun and skin safety myths

Sep 13, 2012, 9:31 a.m.
Follow some sun safety tips and use sun protection products to help keep you safe from the sun rays.

We all know that over exposure to the sun can be harmful to our skin. The problem is that it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between the real dangers we face with sun exposure and the skin safety myths that we have all heard about.

No matter what your age, continued exposure without sun protection products to avoid the sun's harmful rays can cause serious skin issues that include skin cancer. And although there are many sun and skin safety myths, the sometimes fatal skin cancer melanoma is not one of them.

It's ok to spend time in the sunshine and enjoy yourself in the great outdoors, as long as you follow some sun safety tips and use sun protection products to help keep you safe. According to CNN.com, these are some popular misconceptions about sun safety.

The truth about sun and skin safety tips

Myth #1: When it is cloudy or overcast outside, sunscreen is not necessary.

Truth: The Skin Cancer Foundation indicates that clouds do not protect you from the sun's ultraviolet rays. In fact, almost 80% of the sun's harmful rays shine directly through the clouds to burn skin.

Myth # 2: More than 80% of the sun damage we have occurs before we are 18 years old.

Truth: The truth of the matter is that research indicates that only 25% of our lifetime sun exposure occurs before the age of 18. This means that we are never immune to the effects of the sun on our skin. No matter what our age, we always need always need to utilize sun protection products.

Myth # 3: Harmful rays cannot damage your skin through windows.

Truth: This is a tricky one because windows do filter out UVB rays, but not UVA rays. This being said, yes, you actually should wear sun protection products if you will be spending a good deal of time driving during the summer time.

Myth # 4: Tanning is ok as long as you make sure you don't get sunburned.

Truth: Any tan that you get from the sun at all indicates that your skin has been damaged. The fact is that the more you tan in the sun, the more your chance of developing skin cancer increases.

Myth # 5: Wearing clothes protects you from damaging sun rays.

Truth: The Skin Cancer Foundation indicates that most fabrics really only provide an SPF protection of about 7. The rule of thumb is to hold your clothing up to the sunlight and if you are able to see through it, the sun's UV rays can harm your skin through it.

Don't be afraid to get outside and enjoy yourself; just be sure to be smart about it and follow these sun safety tips. Using the proper sun protection products will allow you to spend extended periods of time in the sun without the dangerous side effects so you can relax and enjoy your time in the sun.

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