Now most of us know in general what is the proper use of sunscreen and what protection measures we need to take during the months of increased sunshine in our country. However, environmental factors, such as the 2% decrease in ozone over the last 20 years, have resulted in a 4% increase in the amount of ultraviolet radiation. This is one of the factors that causes the accumulation of radiation problems in the skin, such as premature aging and, of course, the various forms of skin cancer. All forms of skin cancer are alarming, without always being dangerous. The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, which can have the most unpleasant development if diagnosed too late. To find out what are the necessary measures in order to increase our degree of protection from the sun, we met the dermatologist Maritina Roppa, scientific collaborator of PGN Attikon, in an attempt to dispel the myths concerning the protection of the skin from the sun or and the use of sunscreen. Do not test your luck with exposing yourself in the ruthless power of the sun. Luck may play a role in love, games or NetBet Sport but it should not be counted on in your skincare.
Myth 1: Nevi are the result of biological aging
Nevi is the medical term for the moles. These are skin lesions, which either exist from our childhood or appear as we grow older. Keep in mind that moles in most cases are less than 0.5 cm and each person may have a large number of moles on their body, which may be flat or affected, round or oval in shape. Heredity plays an important role in the number of nevi we have; however, it is not the only factor that contributes to their appearance. Most of them are completely harmless, but others are not innocent. The change in the size, shape, and colour of a pre-existing nevus, as well as the appearance of a new one, should lead you to your dermatologist because there is a risk of developing melanoma. According to studies, 30% of melanoma occurs in pre-existing moles on the skin, while the remaining 70% is new skin damage. If you have more than 100 nevi on your body, you belong to the high-risk category for melanoma.
Myth 2: Heredity does not play a role
As mentioned above, heredity seems to play an important role in the development of melanoma. Melanoma in men has a particular weakness in the trunk, head, and neck, while in women it occurs more often in the arms and legs. Also, melanoma is more common in women aged 20 to 60 years. Having two or more close relatives with this diagnosis is a significant risk factor. Therefore, when it occurs in a family, all members should be checked at regular intervals. Remember that people who have developed melanoma are at high risk for developing another.
Myth 3: Constant exposure to ultraviolet radiation makes the skin more resilient
We are aware that reckless exposure to the sun’s UV radiation is one of the main causes of melanoma and non-melanoma cancers. Specifically, scientists claim that the increase in melanoma and non-melanocyte skin cancer is related to sun exposure habits, as well as that of artificial tanning imposed by the modern lifestyle. The data show that in countries with increased sunshine the number of skin cancer cases is on the rise.
Myth 4: Children develop natural sun protection; they do not need special protection from us
Children’s skin is more vulnerable to sun attacks, as it does not have complete defence mechanisms to adequately protect itself from UV rays. In particular, its pigmentation system is not sufficiently developed, resulting in cellular damage that cannot be repaired. Unfortunately, most adults, unaware of the need for strict sun protection of children, are influenced by theories that have to do e.g. with the lack of vitamin D, so they do not adequately protect children, while for the synthesis of vitamin D is sufficient daily exposure to the sun for 15 minutes not at peak hours (11: 00-15: 00). Excessive exposure of children to the sun carries risks.
First of all, keep in mind that babies up to 6 months old are not allowed to be exposed to the sun. Sun protection for older children requires discipline. The specifications of the children’s sunscreen are the following: very high protection, photostable filters, antioxidants, soothing ingredients, without fragrance, wide spectrum protection, the minimum number of filters for maximum safety, soft texture that spreads easily. It is necessary to use certified sun protection clothes with a UPF index of 40 and above during the hours of increased sunshine.
Myth 5: Never wear sunscreen under clothes
The only time you will go to the beach or be left in the summer nature without sunscreen is if you wear clothes certified with sunscreens. Again, it is necessary to use sunscreen on exposed parts of the body. Keep in mind that clothes absorb sunlight, so the effects you can have on your skin are the same as when you wear sunscreen with very low filters. In fact, it is said that dark fabrics with very tight knitting absorb much radiation. So do not take any chances. Twenty minutes before sun exposure, apply sunscreen all over your body. Modern compositions are very soft and are not unpleasant in texture, so you will feel comfortable and protected at all times.