Time to Grease Up With Carcinogens!

by Will Forrester 

Well, summer is upon us, and for a lot of us that means hitting the pool or the beach whenever we get the chance! Our family has three small children, so an added bonus for us is when we take our kids swimming they SLEEP BETTER! Time outside during summer is truly one of life’s joys. 

But in recent decades we have all been inundated with news reports that our time outside comes with a price on our skin. Most of our parents didn’t grow up using sunscreen, starting getting skin cancer or pre-cancerous spots, and started taking action. My mom was diagnosed with melanoma as a young adult, so I was raised in a home that used sunscreen religiously. And none of that suntanning oil stuff. Only the best and highest SPF for us. So I’ve always been a big believer in sunscreen. 

So I was personally outraged to learn what you may have been hearing in the news... that many, many of the most popular sunscreens on the market actually cause... skin cancer. For years now, in an attempt to prevent skin cancer, I have been unknowingly rubbing carcinogens all over my body. Oh, and I’ve also found the spray sunscreens that apply so easily a great option for my kids. Turns out... they are some of the worst offenders! I have been spraying carcinogens on my own children. 

As with most issues these days, there is a wide variety of opinion on the efficacy of using sunscreen and how much time is healthy to be in the sun. We know there are numerous health benefits from sunlight exposure that can get reduced by using sunscreen. We also know we don’t want to get burned up, and if you’re a parent the last thing you want is to see your son or daughter in pain because of a bad sunburn. Before you go out again for your next family outing or time working in the yard, I would highly recommend you get out the sunscreen you’re using, read the label, and do some research online. This article has tons of great information on which sunscreens to avoid as well as other tips for managing sun exposure. With the “exposure” this issue has been getting lately in the media, I have found some natural sunscreens have been very hard to purchase because people are already tossing the more harmful stuff they have in their beach bags. 

As always, we are constantly learning from our collective mistakes as a human species. We probably still have more to learn about this issue as well, but for now, it is critical that you do your own homework and come up with a plan for staying healthy this summer, which includes getting some good sunlight on your skin! 

A few basic suggestions before your next time spent basking in the sun: 

• Read up online about the harmful effects of sunscreens

• If you’re going to use sunscreen, find a safe, natural option

• If you’re going to forgo sunscreen, consider building up your skin’s exposure over time and early in the season

• Keep in mind the general principle that our bodies are designed to be healthy and thrive without outside chemical interference. 

• Schedule a wellness visit with Dr. Ranicki to learn more about how you can maintain overall health and wellness this summer and year round! 

I want my kids to have an absolute blast at the pool all summer. I also want them to avoid chemotherapy down the road. 

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