Posts Tagged ‘sun’

Sun Screen

By Trevor Shewfelt, Pharmacist at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy

 

I had a job in high school walking malamutes.  You’ve probably seen huskies.  Huskies are dogs bred to pull sleds with people on them.  Malamutes look like large huskies.  Malamutes are bred to pull freight sleds.  They are very bid and strong.  My job involved going to the owner’s house, meeting up with another high school kid, and then we’d each walked one of the malamutes.  The male’s name was Buck and the female’s was Shadow.  One day I got to the house and got leases on Buck and Shadow, but my walking partner was late.  I got impatient, put both leashes around my waist and set off.  I got to the end of the driveway when Buck saw another dog.  Suddenly I was being towed rapidly down the icy street.  I kept my feet under me for a while, but soon I was being pulled head long towards an unfortunate dog.

So what did I do wrong?  I was getting exercise, which is good.  I was earning some money, which is good.  But I was impatient and didn’t take the basic safety precaution of having one dog walker per dog.  The same is true for sun exposure.  Everyone is heading outside with the return of some nice weather.  Fresh air is great for you and so is the exercise.  But getting too much sun is not good.  Too much sun can damage your skin.   And damage to your skin from the sun can add up.  Sun exposure can lead to serious problems like skin cancer.

The sun emits radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to X-rays.  The part of the spectrum we are interested in are the Ultra-violet wavelengths.  There are 2 types of UV radiation we talk about with skin damage, UVA and UVB.  Sun burn is most often caused by UVB.  UVA & UVB can both cause premature skin aging, sunburn and skin cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration in the US is going to require changes in the labeling of sunscreens within the next year.  In the US sunscreens will no longer be labeled “Sunblock”, and they can’t claim immediate protection upon application.  The FDA thinks “sunblock” implies too much protection.  If the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB and has an SPF of 15 or greater, it can be labeled as “Broad Spectrum”.  The FDA also won’t allow a sunscreen to claim an SPF of greater than 50 as they feel there is no evidence that numbers above 50 have any real meaning.  Sunscreens won’t be able to say they are “water proof” or “sweat proof”.  The will only be able to say they are water resistant.  The label must state how long they are water resistant for.  The two labeling options will be water resistant for 40 minutes or water resistant for 80 minutes.

From the point of view of preventing skin cancer, the best thing to do would be for everyone to lock themselves into a dark closet and only come out at night.  But since not all of us have comfortable walk-in closets, here are some more practical suggestions.

  • Avoid the sun when it is most intense.  These are between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that protects against both UVA and UVB
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours when outdoors, especially after swimming or sweating heavily.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim and long-sleeved shirt.

 

I got lucky with Buck and Shadow.  At first, I was terrified when Buck caught the poor dog, and shook it around by the throat for a few seconds.  But, Buck released the dog unharmed and it ran away home.  Even though they dragged me down the street, and Buck caught the dog he was chasing, everything ended well.  But you shouldn’t rely on luck to protect you.  A little sunscreen now before you hurry out the door into the sunshine, could prevent the malamute sized bite of skin cancer later.

FDA Sunscreen labeling rules: www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM258910.pdf

Malamutes : www.malamute.org/index_Info.htm

As always if you have any questions or concerns about these or other products, ask your pharmacist.

The information in this article is intended as a helpful guide only.  It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice.  If you have any questions about your medications and what is right for you see your doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional.

 

We now have this and most other articles published in the Parkland Shopper on our Website.  Please visit us at www.dcp.ca

 

Sun Screen – Audio

By Trevor Shewfelt.  Recorded by the nice people at 730 CKDM, The Parkland’s Best Music

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SUN SCREENS

 

By Trevor Shewfelt, Pharmacist at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy

We now have this and most other articles published in the Parkland Shopper on our Website.  Please visit us at www.dcp.ca

 The information in this article is intended as a helpful guide only.  It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice.  If you have any questions about your medications and what is right for you see your doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional.

 There has been some good news lately about skin cancer.  Dr. Gordon Jung and colleagues at the University of Alberta published a study in the April issue of the British Journal of Dermalology.  They looked at Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers in Alberta from 1988 through 2007.  In women they found these skin cancers increased until 2000 and then the rates leveled off.  They found in men the cancer rates leveled off in 2001 and then actually went down.  The researchers are hoping that the decrease is due to people listening to all the public health messages about reducing sun exposure.

Skin cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in Canada, and the fastest growing cancer in the world.  The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that 75,500 people will be diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer in 2010.  Risk factors for developing non-melanoma skin cancer include: exposure to the sun, light-coloured skin, eyes and hair, and a previous history of skin cancer.

 The Canadian Dermatology Association recommends:

  • Plan outdoor activities before 11 a.m. and after 4 p.m. The sun’s rays are at their strongest between these hours. It’s easy to remember – during these hours your shadow is shorter than you are.
  • GOLFERS: Choose a high SPF product – 30 – 60 – that offers greater protection as you may be out for more than four hours. Use a golf umbrella or golf cart for personal shade. If possible, wait for play in shaded, treed areas.
  • Cover your arms and legs. Covering your skin will protect it from the sun. Choose clothing that is: loose fitting; tightly woven; and lightweight.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat  (3 inches or 7.5 cm). Most skin cancers occur on the face and neck. This area needs extra protection. So a hat with a wide brim that covers your head, face, ears and neck is needed. Hats without a wide brim, like baseball caps, do not give you enough protection.
  • Use a sunscreen with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) SPF 30 or higher. Look for “broad spectrum” on the label. This means that the sunscreen offers protection against two types of ultraviolet rays, UVA and UVB.  Don’t forget to use SPF 30, broad spectrum lip balm as well.
  • Apply sunscreen generously, 20 minutes before outdoor activities. Reapply often – at least every 2 hours (and after swimming or exercise that makes you perspire). No sunscreen can absorb all of the sun’s rays. Use sunscreen along with shade, clothing and hats – not instead of them. Use sunscreen as a backup in your sun protection plan.

 We have been hearing these sun protection warnings for years.  The good news is that if the Alberta study is right, we are starting to listen.  Keep up the good work.

For More Information visit:

The Canadian Cancer Society:                           www.cancer.caThe Canadian Dermatology Association         www.dermatology.ca

As always if you have any questions or concerns about these or other products, ask your pharmacist.

Sunscreen – Audio

By Barret Procyshyn.  Recorded by the nice people at 730 CKDM, The Parkland’s Best Music

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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