Skin cancer: three tips to protect from the skin. Are you able to recognize the types of skin, the peak time of the sun and the sun protection factor (SPF, sun protection factor)? Ultraviolet solar radiation is the main cause of skin cancer. Or, better, an inadequate sunscreen is a cause. Prof. Dr. Christian Surber from the Zurich Dermatology Clinic offers useful advice.
It is paradoxical. Today more than ever we know how dangerous sun exposure can be to our skin. In the past, there were sunscreens with protective factors between two and 20, while today we have arrived at an SPF of 50 and over. Still, the number of new cases of disease is increasing continuously, from the types of light skin cancer to the much more serious black ones.
Among the causes are the most frequent trips to the countries of the South of the world, an increase in outdoor activities and the search for a tanned skin for a healthy appearance. According to Prof. Surber, small measures can help to limit the risks deriving from exposure to the sun.
Many people underestimate the sensitivity of their skin to the sun. Even the fresh air and the wind do not help us remember to protect us outdoors even on such days. In both cases, there is the possibility of getting burned quickly.
Intuitively it is assumed that the sun is at its peak around noon. It’s not really like that. There are many hours differences within a time zone. If the sun is at its zenith at 12.00 in Dubrovnik, it takes another 2 hours before the sun reaches the peak at Santiago de Compostela. This means that in northern Spain you are exposed to considerable sunrays far beyond 12. For this reason, the period from 11 to 16 is often indicated as the time with the greatest sun exposure. During this interval, it is necessary to protect oneself in a particular way.
The sun protection factor, in short SPF (also LLF or SSF), is the multiplier of the natural protection time of your skin. A person with light skin can count on his natural defenses for 5 minutes. Using an SPF of 25, the protection time increases up to 125 minutes. An SPF of 50 doubles this time further. However, this is achieved only if applied in sufficient quantities and if it does not remain attached to the shirt or towel used later. After swimming or sweating it is always advisable to reapply the sunscreen. The SPF indicates the protection against UV-B radiation. But you must always protect yourself against UV-A radiation. This type of protection is indicated on the package with a black logo in which there is an «A» inside a circle.