Wellness Wednesday: Summer reminders #1 Sun protection 

More than a few ladies came in to clinic this week looking like lobsters. So I write again to give you the perspective your future self would have wanted your present day self to have. 

Sun protection will reduce your cancer risk. It will also protect from general skin deterioration. We have all seen wrinkles, crepe-y skin, blotchy discolored skin, overtanned depigmentation spots and, yes, skin cancer.  

With the advance of medical care, technology and nutrition, we can expect ever increasing lifespans. This means we have to take of our bodies so that they will last even longer than before.

You might ask why skin deteriorates since the actual matter of our skin recycles about every three months. This is a very interesting question whose answer should motivate you to have good sun protection. 

If you injure your skin with a bad sunburn, one so bad that you peel, new healthy skin grows up from beneath. Aren’t you good then ? Well, the new skin is good. However, unbeknownst to you, the DNA of the deeper cells which have generated the layer has been damaged. This DNA damage is what reduces the error correcting ability of the cells over the long term. Error correction ? Aren't cells identical when one divides to two ? Yes and no. They are mostly identical. But over time, imperfections in the cell division occur and errors are generated and build up. Damaged DNA leads to more errors. This is what eventually gives rise to the skin damage listed earlier. 

The DNA is damaged by the uv light, whether it be from the sun, or a tanning booth. Protection is a matter of timing, clothing, and sunscreen. It is also a matter of the correct use of sunscreen. 

To review this critical information, please see the following posts: 

Skin Deep 

On the Virtues of Hats and Sun Protection

Have a sunny week.