Protect your skin from sun & skin cancer | Bangkok Post: learning

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Protect your skin from sun & skin cancer

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Sunscreen applied correctly to skin when young, protects from skin cancer when you grow old. 

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Sunburn, skincare and SPF numbers

Assoc Prof Dittakarn Boriboonhirunsarn

Sunburn is a form of radiation burn that results from an overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Sunburn can cause long-lasting damage to the skin which is linked to the development of certain of skin cancers.

Believe it or not, one blistering sunburn as a child or teenager can increase your chances of developing skin cancer later in life. Your risk also doubles if you have had more than five burns at any age.

There are still some misconceptions that people with darker skin colours don't get sunburn or skin cancer. In fact, while people with fair skin are more likely to sunburn than those with dark skin, all races and all different skin colours are susceptible.

The use of sunscreen is known to prevent the direct damage from UV radiation that causes sunburn. Although all sunscreens help prevent sunburn, only some may help reduce the risk of skin cancer. Choosing effective types and the correct use of sunscreen are therefore also of importance. First thing people should consider when selecting sunscreen is the SPF numbers. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, which is a measure of how well the sunscreen deflects UV rays. SPF 15, for example, means it would take 15 times longer for your skin to get red than without protection. So if your unprotected skin begins to redden after 10 minutes in the sun, then with SPF 15 product, it would take 150 minutes for your skin to begin to turn red.

Theoretically, the best sunscreen has the highest SPF number. Many dermatologists recommend using a product with an SPF of 30 or more, but there is no need to go over 50. However, there is no agreement on the best SPF number.

Also look for broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect your skin from both UVA and UVB exposure. If a sunscreen has an SPF below 15 or does not offer broad-spectrum, it will only guard against sunburn but not skin cancer.

Using sunscreen correctly is the most important issue. Most people only apply 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen. At least 30g of sunscreen, enough to fill a shot glass, is recommended. But the appropriate amount you actually need depends on your body size, areas to be protected, and the time and duration of sun exposure.

Experts recommend using sunscreen every day, even on a cloudy day. Apply sunscreen about 15 minutes before going out and re-apply every two hours while in the sun or after swimming or sweating heavily. In addition, when it comes to moisturisers, you should apply them before putting on the sunscreen, and you can then apply makeup.

Remember, to be effective in sunburn and skin cancer prevention, you need to use creams properly. If sunscreens are not applied thoroughly or thickly enough, or they are perspired away or washed off while swimming, even the best sunscreen can be less effective than the SPF number on the bottle would lead you to believe.

Assoc Prof Dittakarn Boriboonhirunsarn is a member of the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital

(Source: Bangkok Post, Family, GUESTCOLUMN, Sunburn, skincare and SPF numbers, 16/10/2012, Assoc Prof Dittakarn Boriboonhirunsarn, link)

Skincare Vocabulary

burn - an area ok the skin that has been burned บริเวณที่ถูกเผา, บริเวณที่ไหม้

sunburn - when a person stays outdoors too long with with sunlight hitting the skin which damages the skin making hurt and turn red in color  ผิวหนังที่ถูกแดดเผา, อาการผิวหนังอักเสบเนื่องจากแพ้แดด (See Wikipedia)

suntan -

skin - the covering on the outside of the body ผิวหนัง (See Wikipedia)
fair skin - white skin

UV radiation - ultraviolet light or radiation, invisible to the human eye, causes sunburn and contributes to skin aging and cancer, "electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays, in the range 10 nm to 400 nm, and energies from 3eV to 124 eV" (See Wikipedia)

- one kind of UV radiation: Ultraviolet A, long wave, or black light    wavelength: 400 nm–315 nm (See Wikipedia)
UVB - one kind of UV radiation: Ultraviolet B or medium wave    UVB    wavelength: 315 nm–280 nm (See Wikipedia)

radiation burn - sunburn from UV radiation

deflect -
stop and change direction of something (such as rays of sun) ทำให้แบน
deflects UV rays

ray -
sun rays
UV rays

exposure -
not being covered or protected from something harmful ได้รับสารผิด การให้ถูกแสง
sun exposure - when the sun hits a person's skin for a period of time

overexposure - too much exposure (when you get too much of something like rays of sun hitting skin because your skin is not covered or protected) 
UVA and UVB exposure

dermatologist - a skin doctor

skin cancer - cancer of the skin มะเร็งผิวหนัง
- upraised skin (from a burn, for example) แผลพุพอง

sweat - the liquid that passes out from the skin when your body is hot เหงื่อ
perspire - Same as "sweat"

sunscreen - a cream rubbed into the skin to prevent sunburn (or lotion, spray, gel); absorbs or reflects some of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation on the skin exposed to sunlight and thus helps protect against sunburn (See Wikipedia)

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) - Sun Protection Factor, a measure of how much sun is blocked, the higher the SPF the more sun is blocked (more protection against UV-B, the ultraviolet radiation that causes sunburn, "The SPF is the amount of UV radiation required to cause sunburn on skin with the sunscreen on, as a multiple of the amount required without the sunscreen," the rough rule is: Minutes to burn without sunscreen x SPF number = maximum sun exposure time) (See Wikipedia)

cosmetics - substances, treatments put on the face or body to improve appearance ซึ่งทำให้สวยงาม "include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, towelettes, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and gels, deodorants, hand sanitizer, baby products, bath oils, bubble baths, bath salts, butters and many other types of products" (See Wikipedia)

make-up - Same as "cosmetics"

moisturiser - mixtures of chemical substances designed to make the external layers of the skin (epidermis) softer and more pliable, by increasing its hydration (water content) by reducing evaporation (See Wikipedia)

apply - 1.put on and spread over a surface ทา, ไล้, วางยา; 2. to make use of something นำมาใช้
re-apply - apply again
thoroughly – to do something very carefully and completely; covering all details   อย่างละเอียดรอบคอบ; ละเอียดถี่ถ้วน

apply sunscreen to body
apply moisturiser to face
apply makeup to face

apply thoroughly

long-lasting - continuing to exist or have an effect for a long time ที่กินเวลานาน
linked - connected to เชื่อมโยง เกี่ยวกับ

Believe it or not, ... - it is surprising and difficult to believe, but ......

risk - the possibility that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen ความเสี่ยง
susceptible -
when something happens to a person easily, weak defenses against this  อ่อนแอ,  รับง่ายง่าย

conception - an idea
misconceptions - a wrong idea (about something)

races - Asian, white (caucasian), black เชื้อชาติ, กลุ่มชาติพันธุ์, เผ่าพันธุ์

effective - producing the result that was intended ได้ผลดี
measure - วัด, วัดขนาด

Theoretically, .... - according to ideas about how it works (in reality may work differently)
recommend - to advise someone that they should do something แนะนำ

spectrum - range, spread, scope สเปกตรัม, แถบแสงแยกสี,ชนิดแบคทีเรียที่ยาปฎิชีวนะออกฤทธิ์ได้ผล

- wide กว้างขวาง
broad-spectrum - a wide range or scope (that includes many different things)

issue - a problem that needs to be considered ประเด็น

recommended - something that other people tell you to do
shot glass - a small glass used to measure "one shot" of alcoholic drinks like whisky

duration - length of time
prevention - the act of preventing something, or things that people do in order to prevent something

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