Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Frugal Medicine: Sunscreen

Did you know that melanoma is the second most common cancer in women? We are about to spend hours getting our spring gardens started and even more hours outside in the sun maintaining them. Are you remembering to wear sunscreen?

As a fifty something woman living in Florida I have already had several skin cancers removed. These cancers were directly caused by sun damage and could have been easily avoided by the use of sunscreen. I could have saved myself the expense and discomfort had I taken the time to slather and spritz.

Find a type of sunscreen that you like and buy it on sale (with coupons). I prefer the newer spray ons (no greasy hands) and a lip balm with sunscreen. I use a SPF (sun protection factor) 30. Apply your sunscreen thirty minutes before sun exposure to give it time to activate. Reapply if you get wet or very sweaty.

Don't forget to apply sunscreen to your lips, hair part, top of your ears, and every other exposed area. Wear it even if you are wearing a hat and long sleeves; UV rays reflect up from water and other surfaces and clothing only partially blocks these rays.

What can be more frugal than avoiding cancer by buying a tube of sunscreen? When you are fifty you'll thank me.

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