Womens Health

Sunscreen Works!

A new study from Queensland, Australia tells us that applying sunscreen every day does indeed fight skin cancer for both men and women. The use of sunscreen has the potential to save the Australian government lots of money, too. The Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) initiated the five year study and researchers recruited 1400 participants.

The study participants were separated into two different groups. One group was given sunscreen, free of cost, to be used on a daily basis. The second group consisted of people who used sunscreen on an irregular basis.

Avoided Costs

Lead author of this study, Dr. Louisa Gordon, tells us, "Our research shows that for as little as $1 per person per year sunscreen has the potential to save Medicare an average of $150 per person. This represents a saving of over $126 million per year from the avoided cost of diagnosing and treating the skin cancers and sunspots that would otherwise occur amongst Queenslanders."

Dr. Gordon explains that many Australians are of European descent and that Australia has a high UV climate. These combined factors make for a very high rate of skin cancer; so high that this type of cancer is, "the most expensive cancer in Australia." The main factor in developing skin cancer is the sun's ultraviolet radiation. The only way to prevent the effects of these ultraviolet rays is by covering up with clothes and sunglasses that are made to block the rays and with a generous application of sunscreen. Experts have found that using sunscreen protects skin from the Australian climate and also finds sunscreen use to be extremely cost-effective. In addition, men and women who take advantage of sunscreen avoid premature wrinkles and other aging effects of the sun.

Another recent study was conducted by Washington D.C.'s Environmental Working Group. In this study, it was found that 4 out of every 5 sunscreen lotions on the market fail to protect the skin against the sun's UV rays. That means that 80% of all sunscreen products are ineffective. That's why it's important to consider the Sun Protection Factor, or the SPF.

SPF 30

The SPF can guide you to choose the right sunscreen for your body type. SPF counts start at 2 and go up to 60. In general, the higher ratings generate better protection against the sun's damaging rays. However, a sunscreen that is rated with an SPF of 30 should suit nearly every skin type while still allowing the skin to breathe.

Dermatologists recommend that a minimum of one ounce of sunscreen should be applied from 15-30 minutes before you leave your home. If your skin is oily, purchase an oil-free sunscreen. No matter what type of sunscreen you use, make sure you are covered from head to toe before you leave home. That means hat, sunglasses, and wherever your skin is uncovered, lots of sunscreen. This means you.

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