True or false: More people develop skin cancer because of tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking.
Unfortunately this is true. Given how many cases of lung cancer can be directly connected to smoking (80 to 90 percent), I’d say we have a big problem. Especially those of us living at higher elevations. Even with infinite resources and available information, the statistics are sobering:
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime
- One person dies from melanoma (the deadliest of skin cancers) every 57 minutes
- About 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun
- On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns
I know what you’re thinking. I put sunscreen on every morning before work; I’m totally covered. Research is surfacing that we aren’t as protected as we’d like to think. For instance, do you apply the full recommended ounce of the stuff to your face? Do you reapply every two hours? Is your sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum” (addressing both UVA and UVB rays)?
Our search for a more advanced level of sun protection is over. UV Skinz, a company dedicated to raising skin cancer awareness after its founder Rhonda Sparks lost her husband to melanoma, has created a line of clothing specifically designed to keep us protected while enjoying the outdoors. With a certified UPF rating of 50+, which blocks out over 98 percent of the sun’s harmful rays, we can now safely take in Colorado’s summer days stress-free.
If you haven’t heard much about UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor), get ready: similar to the well-known SPF rating for sunscreens, UPF represents the level of protection in fabrics, safeguarding our skin from sunburn. Clothing labeled with this designation is growing in availability and popularity, thanks to advancing technology in producing more stylish, comfortable gear.
You can order UV Skinz clothing from their free catalog or through their website.
Until then, Go SPF (and UPF) Yourself.
all photography courtesy of UV Skinz
Jodilyn Stuart is the Health & Sports Senior Staff Writer for 303 Magazine, owner of ModaBody Fitness, and has been a professional fitness geek since 1997. If you have questions, feel free to email at: [email protected]