I remember those exact words being uttered by my father when asked if we had packed sunscreen for an upcoming vacation. Growing up I was among the teenagers who scoffed off the use of sunscreen. I tan very nicely and don’t burn easily. Why would I put something on my skin that would slow down that beautiful tan. Who cares if skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US.
As a parent I am just now allowing my 6 month old to be in the sun light for any length of time and I always slather on the sunscreen. I do the same with my other son if we are going out. Family outings, the two boys and my husband lather up, but do I? Only sometimes.
This weekend I was watching CBS Sunday Morning and they had a clip called How real suntans lost their glow. I am outside a LOT! I should be much more concerned for my skin! Here is a fun fact: Sun tans used to signify the working class laborer until factory jobs came around. Then sun tans meant you had the time and luxury to relax outdoors or travel to far off sunny places.
Unfortunately, “Suntans as we know it today is sun damage. And so while it seems nice and it feels good and it maybe looks good, what we know is that it’s actually sun damaged skin,” Consumer’s Reports’ Urvashi Rangan explained (from CBS).
So, remember to slather on that sun screen whether you are Japanese or not. Oh, yes Asian people get skin cancer less than white people to do in the US, but there is still skin cancer out there. Check out the graph from the CDC.
Alright, so the rate is pretty darn low for Asian and Black people. Watch out white people you guys better use the sun screen! Only a few serious sunburns can increase your risk for skin cancer. Parents here is a guide from the CDC about sun protection. Really, its practical information for anyone to use so check it out.
So, keep enjoying the beautiful outdoors, just be safe. Use some protection.