The Sunscreen Controversy

In two weeks I go for my annual skin cancer screening.

I was always the one would could get a sunburn on a cloudy day. My Dad would say, “Impossible!!” even as the Solarcaine was being sprayed on my tender, red skin. In those days people put oil on their skin, not sunscreen, and since I was the only one in my family with very fair skin I was the only one who suffered.

I’m a huge believer in sunscreen, despite the controversy surrounding it, which Wikipedia sums up pretty well.

From the Mayo Clinic’s website:

No studies have proved that ingredients in sunscreen are linked to breast cancer. However, some animal and laboratory studies have shown that some ultraviolet (UV) filters in sunscreen may mimic estrogen, which could disrupt or alter your endocrine system. No evidence has shown that exposure to endocrine disruptors in low levels, such as those in sunscreen, leads to health problems.

One study with human volunteers found that the UV filters in sunscreens were absorbed into the skin, but they didn’t have an effect on the health of the volunteers, or their levels of estrogen or any other hormone.

Further studies are needed to see if humans could be harmed by the ingredients in sunscreen. For now, the American Academy of Dermatology still recommends these precautions before heading out in the sun:

  • Use a sunscreen with UVA and UVB filters with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 on all exposed skin.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants and a brimmed hat.
  • Stay in the shade if possible.

If you’re still concerned about the risks of traditional sunscreens, you can use a sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as an alternative. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide aren’t absorbed into your skin, and don’t mimic estrogen.

More good info is at the Yale-New Haven Hospital site.

I’ve had two instances of skin cancer, one basal cell carcinoma and one squamous cell carcinoma. Luckily neither were melanoma. Still, I go for yearly skin cancer screenings, and am very committed to Son never having a sunburn. At three years and roughly three hundred days he has never experienced one. So far, so good.

Not only am I a believer in sunscreen, I’m a believer in using it daily. Whether you live in Fairbanks or Fort Lauderdale. There are moisturizers and cosmetics with sunscreen, so you don’t even need to add any steps to your daily routine.

I know there are risks, talk of a possible link between sunscreen and other cancers. But skin cancer is a reality for me, not a possibility. I’m more likely now to get more skin cancers, and that makes Son more likely to develop cancer himself. Since my Dad (of the darker skin) has also had skin cancer, Son is even more more likely to experience it.

Whether you agree with the use of sunscreen or not, I urge you to get a skin cancer screening. Today’s Deal of the Day tells you how you can get one for free.

Free is good. Free health care? Really good.

Please help spread the word.

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5 Responses to “The Sunscreen Controversy”

  1. Patty Says:

    Agreed! I got onto a couple of co-workers this weekend at Lowes, because they are so burned from their time working outside there.

  2. allrileyedup Says:

    Thanks for the deal of the day tip!

  3. Carnival of Family Life: Memorial Day Edition | Colloquium Says:

    […] presents The Sunscreen Controversy posted at Are You Going To Be This Way The Rest of The Time I Know […]

  4. Jenny Says:

    I stopped using sunscreen. I get burned through it anyway but I cover my son in it when we go to the pool.


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