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Fun in the Sun? Not Exactly

Filed Under: Personal Care at 1:56 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
SunburnThe importance of vitamin D is an undisputed fact. You need that often lacking nutrient to better your health and better calcium’s strength. You’ve been told that the sun is the best way to get vitamin D, and it is. That hasn’t changed. What has changed is the disclaimer that follows this advice, because it seems that you, and everyone around you, are unaware of the dangers of unprotected sun exposure.

In a survey of more than 28, 000 adults of varying ages it was found that few properly protected their skin. They consistently put themselves at risk by not wearing protective clothing, not using sunscreen, not seeking shade on a sunny day, using indoor tanning devices and having a history of sunburns. The worst offenders were, unsurprisingly, those between 18 and 29, with 81.5 percent reporting two or more risky behaviors. However, the older age brackets weren’t much better. The vast majority of American adults are paving the way for skin cancer, and that probably includes you.

But what should you do? How are you supposed to balance the need for vitamin D and the dangers of skin cancer? The answer is not to revert back to your sun-free lifestyle. Don’t closet yourself indoors or cover every inch of your body with a UV-shield. Instead, make wise decisions when venturing outdoors. Keep the advised 15 minutes a day to 15 minutes a day. Don’t turn it into a 24/7 sunbathe. When you do go outside, apply sunscreen about 30 minutes prior and reapply every two hours. Make sure you have the quantities right, using a golf-ball amount with an SPF of 15 or more. Don’t tan; avoid sunburn, and be smart. You don’t have to trade one health boon for another. You just have to find a way to make them coincide.

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