Harvard Researcher: Get Some Sun

Get Some Sun

Harvard Researcher: Get Some Sun

A Harvard University dermatology researcher says that “solar-phobes” are taking sun care messages too far, and that people are better off concentration on sunburn prevention rather than sun avoidance.
From an article posted online in the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide:

“The relationship between sun exposure and skin cancer risk isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Genes are a factor, of course: Some protect, some promote. So is skin type: People with pale skin who sunburn easily and don’t tan are more likely to get sun-related skin cancer. As for exposure, the ‘dose’ and its timing are crucial. Several studies have suggested that suddenly getting a lot of sun is more dangerous then steady exposure over time.”

And in the same article, Harvard’s head dermatologist says many people are missing the point.

“Dr. Robert S. Stern, chair of the Department of Dermatology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, calls them ‘solar-phobes’: people so concerned about getting skin cancer that they stay inside or cover every bit of skin. ‘They cover up like they were going out into the Arabian Desert,’ he says. The marketing of ultrablocking sunscreens and special sun-protective clothing plays into these fears.”

To read the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide click here.

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