Marcie Birk, a Health Educator with the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine reported on recreational and occupational exposure to the sun. Occupational sun exposure increases a persons risk of skin cancer by 43-77%. Many soldiers are usually exposed to harmful rays all the time, by default of their occupation. Soldiers can be exposed to many hours of UV radiation during unit and individual training. They are encouraged to take the proper sun safety precautions as the general public; to use a sunblock with an SPF 30+ and reapply every two hours, and to wear a wide-brimmed hat.
Some people still will let their pride and stubbornness get in the way of healthy sun protection habits. Here is a list of excuses that are commonly heard…
Excuse: “Sunblocks smell flowery and feminine.”
Answer: By unscented formulations. They are just as effective without the scent.
Excuse: “The oily base makes my skin feel greasy. ‘
Answer: Try out other brands to find what feels right to you.
Excuse: “They make my hands slippery.”
Answer: Try a sport sunscreen. They are designed to absorb quickly.
Excuse: “When I sweat, the stuff runs into my eyes and stings.”
Answer: Use a stick sunscreen on your forehead and around your eyes. Never put sunscreen directly on your eyes.
But, what happens if they do get burned?
J. Solis (U.S. Navy) said, “For us, we don’t get sunscreen provided by the command. We have to get it ourselves. I used to get in trouble all the time for sunburns when I was stationed in Hawaii. Now a days people don’t really get in trouble for sunburns while being in uniform.”
These instances occur in the United States as well as other countries. The Canadian Military has a statute for dealing with severe sunburn. One Canadian soldier recalled being a student on officer training during the summer of 1990. At the end of the formal training and before the graduation the training center put on a huge sports day called Exercise Spartan Warrior. The competition uniform for the day was combat boots, trousers, and t-shirts. The Canadian soldier says he slathered himself in the military issue sunscreen (SPF 8) and competed out in the sun all day until the end of the competition. He admits the day after he was so burned on his arms and the back of his neck that he had to report to the Medical Inspection Room where he was diagnosed with 2nd degree burns. He was then told by the duty medic that because the burns got to 2nd degree he would have to be investigated for a summary charge of “Self-Inflicted Wound”. Luckily, for the soldier it was proven that he had “indeed used the supplied sunscreen and had not inflicted himself with the wound and was not negligent in protecting himself.”
How can soldiers protect themselves?
- Use a sunblock with an SPF 30+ and reapply every two hours
- Try to stay covered if out in the sun for more than 30 minutes at a time; wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves and pants.
How can the military can help?
- Provide a sunscreen with an SPF of 30+
- Make it mandatory /provide UV protective clothing
What can YOU do to help?
- Collect sun protection products by asking people to donate in support of our troops!
The winter months can be especially damaging to the skin. The wind blows harder and colder, the temperature drops, and moisture becomes depleted in the skin causing skin dehydration, scaling, and flaking cracked areas. Areas such as the lips, elbows, knees, heels, and hands become particularly parched during this season. UVA rays in winter are as intense and cause as much damage as UVA rays in the summer months. Here are some tips on how to give your skin ultimate protection during the winter months.
10 Tips for Hands, Feet, Body, Face and Lips
Keep Water Lukewarm, Not Hot
Hot water robs skin of moisture, so it’s best to shower in lukewarm water. If you can’t bear this rule — I can’t — try to keep your warm showers short and try showering only once per day. This also means skipping the hot tubs in winter (another rule I simply cannot bear). The hot, hot temperature, combined with drying chemicals, is torture on skin.
Moisturize After Showers or Hand washing
Moisturizer is the key to soft, supple skin in winter. Apply product when skin is slightly damp. For best effect, pat skin dry instead of rubbing with your towel before application.
Exfoliate on a Weekly or Semi-weekly Basis
Moisturizer is much more effective on properly exfoliated skin. Use a scrub in the shower and exfoliate facial skin with a mild scrub made for the face.
It’s best to scrub skin when it’s dry. Apply scrub to dry skin before you turn on the water (mix with lotion if it’s not moist enough). Massage the scrub in for a good five minutes for best results.
Invest in a Humidifier
Furnaces rob air of moisture, leaving very little humidity in the air. I once read that your skin needs more than 30 percent humidity to stay properly moisturized. A room heated by a furnace can have as little as 10 percent moisture. In the winter, consider sleeping with a humidifier in your bedroom. Keep doors closed so the moist air doesn’t escape the room.
Skip the Drying Soaps
Stick with a creamy moisturizing cleanser that contains glycerin or petrolatum, such as Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash, or Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash (my current drugstore pick).
Baby Your Hands & Feet
Hands and feet can suffer terribly in winter. Put on moisturizer and gloves BEFORE you head outdoors, and consider lathering up your feet in thick moisturizer and sleeping in cotton socks at night.
Extra tip: Cover feet in a thick moisturizer, wrap feet in Saran Wrap, then pull on a pair of socks for a couple hours. Try to sit or lie down while the moisturizer soaks in or risk sliding into a full split and pulling your groin muscles. The same treatment can be done on hands, except try plastic bags and keep hands in a pair of socks. A half-hour should do you.
Don’t Forget Your Lips
Licking your lips will not moisturize them and instead will help dry them out. Lips retain less moisture than other parts of the body, so they tend to dry out more quickly. A simple lip balm helps, as does my all-time favorite lip trick learned in high school from “Seventeen” magazine: moisturize your lips with Vaseline. Take a toothbrush and “brush” your lips in a circular motion. This will remove dead flakes and leave your lips soft and supple.
Your Face Needs Extra Care in Winter
Cold, winter wind can wreak havoc on skin. To keep your face supple in winter, apply moisturizer to your face before going out into the cold and cover your face with a scarf in harsh wind.
If you have super, duper sensitive skin, consider avoiding rinsing your face with tap water, which can contain harsh minerals that are especially drying to the skin (Dr. Dennis Gross once told me New York water contains a lot of harsh minerals, while Seattle water, for example, does not. Go figure).
Instead, do like the French and cleanse skin in winter with a cleaner that does not require rinsing, like Pond’s Cold Cream. You can also rinse with special water that contains selenium and chamomile.
Consider Fish Oil Pills
New studies show omega-3 fish oil pills may soothe super dry skin. Patients who took fish oils pills in a study reported in Allure magazine, saw significant results within a few weeks. “You can see, within six weeks, the skin, hair and nails improve markedly,” according to skin expert Dr. Andrew Weil in Allure.
UV Skinz swim shirts always keep your skin protected with its chemical-free super soft material and SPF 50+ which will protect your delicate skin from sun damage and burns!
Bob Marley was born to his parents as Nesta Robert Marley on this day in 1945. The legendary musician and King of Reggae would have been 68-years-old today. Marley died at the age of 36 on May 11, 1981 when he lost his battle with skin cancer. The skin cancer was first found in 1977 when Marley complained of an injury on his toe that was not healing. He underwent surgery to remove the malignancy from his foot, but because of his Rastafarian beliefs did not heed doctors advice to have the toe completely removed in order to stop the spread of the cancer. Bob Marley passed away at a Miami hospital and left these last words to his son Ziggy, “Money can’t buy life.”
Although African-Americans and other individuals of color have a lower risk for skin cancer than people with fair skin, it is important to know that they are also at risk. It is often common for African-Americans and other dark-skinned populations to not catch the signs of skin cancer early. It is also a thought that if you have dark skin then you are more immune to skin cancer. This is not true! Darker-skinned people need to look for changes to their nail beds, the soles of the feet and hands. Checking for changes to your moles and skin every month and getting yearly check-ups with a Dermatologist is very important in skin cancer prevention.
A positive can work wonders! Found this while surfing the internet and thought that it would be helpful to anyone going through any hard time in their lives, especially those diagnosed with skin cancer or melanoma. You can read more on this at the Gutsy Lady blog.
Remember to smile and…
Hang in there!
Here are 5 Ways to Stay Positive:
- Think happy thoughts.
- Daily Affirmations
- Questions to ask yourself; “When a negative thought enters your head and says something like “I am not going to get that promotion or I am not smart enough” ask yourself is this true? Do I have facts to support this statement? If not, accept that this is garbage and throw it out of your head. Replace these negative tapes with your positive affirmations.”
- Hang out with happy people.
- Read inspirational books/quotes