Summer is almost upon us and with it the increasing risks of contracting skin cancer, including the most deadly form melanoma. Increased loss of the earth’s ozone layer, together with more direct sunlight and global warming, is resulting in more and diagnosed cases of skin cancers, of which often appear years after the initial skin exposure.
There’s no shortage of patent skin lotions and creams for use when going to the beach or to other places where large parts of the skin will be exposed to direct sunlight. Ultra violet (UV) light rays are the main cause of skin cancer; and researchers now say that Americans “soaked in” at least 50% of the maximum amount of UV rays that their skin can tolerate by the time they reach age 21. Although these many type of sun screen preparations will have varying degrees of success in blocking out these harmful rays, a number of everyday remedies and preparations can be very effective as well in protecting the skin. Some of these include:
Zinc Oxide: One of the oldest and best skin protecting preparations, zinc oxide now is available in an assortment of shades and pastel colors. It is an excellent blocking agent of UV light rays.
Green Tea Extract: excellent in anti-oxidants, tree tea extract helps to stimulate the growth of keratinocytes, which make up the outer cell layer of the skin.
Grape Seed Polyphenols: contains flavonoids by inhibiting skin cancer occurring from UV light exposure. Grape seeds have 20 times more antioxidants than Vitamin E and 50 more than vitamin C.
Turmeric: A spice also known as curcumin, turmeric contains the flavonoid curcumin and is excellent as an anti-inflammatory agent as well as protecting the skin against UV light. It has a yellow color that can stain the skin and clothing, but a colorless version is now available.
Rosemary: A perennial spice often found in gardens rosemary contains two antioxidants , carnosic acid and ursolic acid, which are very effective in skin protection.
Protecting the skin by wearing protective clothing, hats and limiting skin exposure are as or even more helpful in reducing the risks of skin cancer. Eating foods high in flavonoids and antioxidants will also help skin cells to resist the likelihood of skin cancer as well as help prevent premature aging. Since signs of skin cancer may occur as long as 20 years after initial exposure, is it recommended to take the necessary preventive precautions from an early age, especially for children.