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Using sunscreen before age 18 reduces the risk of skin cancer by 78%, Says Dermatologist

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The use of sunscreens throughout the year has increased considerably over the years and premature use can reduce the risk of skin cancer

The regular use of sunscreens before the age of 18 can reduce the incidence of skin cancer by up to 78%, according to dermatologist Paloma Borregón, adding that having a history of sunburn in childhood is a risk factor for the development of melanoma, insisting that “the skin has memory.”

This was stated by the doctor during the presentation of the children’s range of P20 solar panels. Where she has also warned that, despite the fact that skin cancer is more frequent in those over 50 years of age, it increasingly occurs in young people due to intense sun exposure in short periods of time.

For the expert, the main avoidable risk factor is UV rays, whether they are natural, coming from the sun; or artificial, as is the case with tanning booths.

Only 18% of the population protects their skin throughout the year

However, the specialist has warned that, despite the fact that 92% of the population recognizes that exposure to the sun can cause health problems, only 18% always protect their skin. In this sense, she has highlighted the importance of a correct application of sun cream.

Specifically, a sufficient quantity of product is necessary to cover the entire body, the application of which must be repeated every two hours. However, the expert has clarified that, if the child bathes, it must be reapplied more frequently.

In addition to sun cream, the dermatologist urged that it is “ideal” to block the sun with t-shirts designed with sun protection, hats and sunglasses.

The doctor has emphasized that children between the first six and twelve months of life should avoid the use of suncream, and at that age “they should not even be exposed to the sun”.

Different types of ultraviolet radiation

Regarding the types of solar radiation, the expert has indicated that within ultraviolet radiation there are three types: UVC, UVB, and UVA. Thus, it has been abundant that type C does not even penetrate the atmosphere, so they do not affect people.

UVBs, although they do not penetrate as much as UVAs, reach the epidermis, the most superficial layer of the skin. These are directly related to sunburn, redness, blisters, swelling, as well as eye damage, and direct DNA damage.

UVA rays penetrate to the dermis, the deepest layer, made up of collagen fibers and elastic fibers, as well as hyaluronic acid. Thus, this radiation passes through all types of surfaces, including crystals and clouds, which is why, upon reaching the dermis, the fibers deconstruct, causing the fibroblasts to be unable to produce collagen or hyaluronic acid, and triggering aging and skin wrinkles.

Features for good protection against sun damage

For all these reasons, Borregón has revealed the characteristics that a sun cream should have to protect correctly both UVB and UVA radiation.

According to her, a sunscreens should be:

Non-toxic: no harmful content

Non-comedogenic: it does not promote appearance of pimples

Hypoallergenic: it should not cause any allergic reaction.

Likewise, it must guarantee stability against external agents, light, heat and skin pH. And finally, it must be proven effective.

Thus, for child care, the expert advocates using products with a very high protection factor (SPF +50) of high performance. 

As it has reliable protection, resistant to water, without perfumes, has a very light texture, and is suitable for sensitive skin.

Image Credit: Getty

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