Consider this a reminder that sunscreen needs to be applied everywhere — not just your face.
A New York dermatologist shared the consequences of what can happen when you only apply sunscreen to your face and ignore other parts of your body.
Dr. Avi Bitterman posted a photo of an unnamed 92-year-old woman to Twitter last week, showing extensive sun damage to the skin on her neck but not her face.
In the picture, the woman has a substantial number of wrinkles, sunspots and discolouration on her neck, while her face appears much less damaged.
“Cheek and neck of a 92-year-old female, who used UV-protective moisturizers on her face but not on the neck for 40+ years,” Bitterman captioned the photo.
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The results were also published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology where Dr. Christian Fuchs, an expert in skin cancer research, shared commentary alongside the photo.
He claims that by using sunscreen to reduce the signs of aging people can also reduce the risk of diseases caused by harmful UV light.
“While it is unlikely that we can (or even should) aim at defeating human ageing for various reasons, modifiers of ageing will still be able to change both healthspan (the time we live without disease) and lifespan,” Fuchs wrote in the 2021 report.
“After all, who would not agree to an additional 20–40 healthy years?”
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and is also one of the most preventable.
UV light, an invisible form of radiation from the sun or artificial sources like tanning beds, can damage skin cells and cause irreversible discolouration and wrinkles.
Everyone is prone to skin cancer, but some people are at higher risk, including those with a family history of skin cancer, people who burn easily and those with fair skin, blonde hair, or light-coloured eyes.
The Canadian Cancer Society recommends applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher every time you step outside, and also encourages people to wear large hats, tightly woven clothing, and staying in the shade when the UV index is at its highest.
The Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation reports that Canadians born in the 1990s have two-to-three times higher risk of getting skin cancer in their lifetime (one-in-six people) than those born in the 1960s (one-in-20).
One in every three cancers diagnosed worldwide is skin cancer, and 80 to 90 per cent of those cases are caused by exposure to UV radiation.
At least 80,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in Canada each year. Of those, more than 5,000 are melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
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