The Effects of Sun Exposure on Younger Generation

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Prolonged sun exposure is already a proven fact that it is one of the major risk factors which can cause skin cancer. The excessive ultraviolet rays which are absorbed by the skin can cause alterations in the skin making it dull and unhealthy, and for extreme conditions it can cause the development of certain diseases. Also, many researches claimed that people of all ages should be wary about this troublesome health problem, but it seems that the younger generation is not bothered by this health issue, and doctors should explain to the young individuals that prolonged sun exposure can alter their beauty, according to a new draft of recommendation from a task force.

Skin cancer is a malignancy of the cells of the skin which is caused by various factors such as: extreme UV rays exposure, and family history. According to the National Cancer Institute, there are several types of skin cancer. Skin cancer that forms in melanocytes is called melanoma. Skin cancer that forms in the lower part of the epidermis is called basal cell carcinoma. Skin cancer that forms in squamous cells is called squamous cell carcinoma.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the group who released the new draft of recommendations, said that young individuals such as those who belong to the age group of 10 to 24 years old are not bothered of developing skin cancer in the long run. Explanations that prolonged and excessive exposure under the sun can cause an increase risk for having skin cancer are not effective among them. Younger generations still do not realize the significance of this risk and that doctors should use other strategies of explaining to the younger generation the bad effect of UV rays.

These new strategies may involve convincing the young individuals that prolonged sun exposure can actually alter their skin, and hence, making them unbeautiful. Doctors should use the vanity of the younger population in order to make them realize the detriments that excessive sun exposure can give them.

Moreover, Task force Chair Virginia Moyer, a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, commented on the Wall Street Journal: “We now have a reasonable level of evidence that we are able to change behavior in teens and young adults with a variety of counseling approaches that were appearance-based.”

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that to protect yourself

-          Stay out of the sun when it is strongest (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)

-          Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher

-          Wear protective clothing

-          Wear wraparound sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV ray protection

-          Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds

It is also recommended to check your skin regularly for changes in the size, shape, color or feel of birthmarks, moles and spots. Such changes are a sign of skin cancer. The said agency further shared that “ultraviolet (UV) rays are an invisible form of radiation. They can penetrate your skin and damage your skin cells. Sunburns are a sign of skin damage. Suntans aren’t healthy, either. They appear after the sun’s rays have already killed some cells and damaged others. UV rays can cause skin damage during any season or at any temperature. They can also cause eye problems, wrinkles, skin spots, and skin cancer.”

 

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  1. [...] tanning is highly risky and indoor tanners are more likely – by a whopping 70% — to develop skin cancer even before they turn 40 years old. This type of skin cancer won’t kill but can disfigure you [...]

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