There’s no doubt about it: installing your own backyard swimming pool is an excellent option for those wanting to accommodate — or encourage — a healthy lifestyle, both for themselves and for their friends and family members. However, in addition to other hazards, such as drowning and other water-related injuries and risks, spending extra time around a swimming pool can have an unexpected and unwanted negative health result if you don’t take the proper precautions. This is because you will typically increase your exposure to UV radiation and, as a result, increase your chances of acquiring Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. But don’t panic: there are definitely ways to reduce your risks.
Before we get into the truth about melanoma and skin cancer prevention, let’s tackle a few common misconceptions relating to a major weapon in fighting this deadly disease: sunscreen.
While there’s a lot of misinformation out there, professional organizations such as the Melanoma Research Foundation, American Academy of Dermatology, and Environmental Working Group all agree on the following:
First, the so-called “fact” that sunscreen actually increases your risks of developing melanoma — or is unsafe in any way — is unfounded. (This assertion has been backed up by several clinical studies, including this one.)
Second, the allegation that sunscreen use prevents your body from absorbing vitamin D that it needs is also false.
One very important fact in this discussion is that approximately 9 out of every 10 cases of melanoma is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet, or UV radiation, which can come from the sun or from other sources.
Combating UV Exposure
While your body does benefit from exposure to sunlight in many ways (more about that later), you do want to protect your body’s largest organ, your skin, from harmful amounts of UV exposure. This battle cannot be fought effectively with only one weapon; you should really employ several:
- Avoid exposure to the sun’s most direct rays, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Seek shaded areas, particularly during those peak hours
- Wear protective clothing: long-sleeved shirts, long pants
- Protect your eyes with wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses
- Apply broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen
According to a 2011 clinical study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, regular sunscreen use decreased incidence of melanoma by between 50 and 73%. When used in conjunction with other sun-protection measures (as described above), broad spectrum sunscreen not only helps prevent sunburn but also reduces risks of early aging as well as multiple types of skin cancer.
There are three basic details to look for as you choose a sunscreen:
- Use broad spectrum sunscreen
- Choose sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
- Opt for sunscreen without vitamin A
The term “broad spectrum” refers to the fact that a sunscreen will protect against both UVA and UVB radiation, both of which can cause damage to your skin. We’ll look in greater detail at vitamin A and other ingredients in our next post.
Read More About Swimming Pools
Since 1979 Lyon Financial has made the backyard resort dream come true for over 400,000 families across the U.S. Through our solid relationships with more than 3,000 pool contractors and our continued commitment to putting our clients first, we have built a reputation as the first choice in providing pool financing solutions. For more information, visit lyonfinancial.net or call (877) 754-5966 today.
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