A recent study in the prominent US dermatology journal tell us that only a small fraction of US schools have implemented policies that protect students from over-exposure to the sun, and few provide shade, sunscreen, or other ways to avoid ultraviolet rays.
Since severe sunburns occur during childhood, which may promote melanoma later, these experts recommend that policymakers and school administrators encourage and implement sun protection policies at schools nationwide.
The authors of this study recommend that schools without a sun protection policy adopt one, and at least implement minor changes that could help shield students from the sun, such as allowing staff to put sunscreen on students, and permitting hats and sunglasses when outdoors.
Archives of Dermatology June 2002;138:771-774
Most of us have been bombardedabout the dangers of the sun by experts and the media. However, becauseit is one of the most pervasive and inaccurate myths persisting in mostof the patients I see, I can only assume you are under the same misunderstanding.Unfortunately, this myth has contributed to massive amounts of diseaseand illness in our society.
Can sun exposure cause skincancer? Absolutely. However, appropriate sunlight actually preventscancer. Exposure to the sun provides many benefits such aspromoting the formation of vitaminD. We also have strongevidence that sunlight is protectiveagainst MS and breastcancer.
The key is to never burn.
Although the American Academyof Dermatology will have you bathing in sunscreen, it is oneof the LAST things you want to put on your body. It is a toxicchemical that can cause problems in your system. Even if itdidn’t contribute to disease, the central issue is thatit doesn’teven work.
A British dermatologistpublished an articleearlier this year which showed no clear indication that sunscreens worked.Anotherstudy in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology last yearfound the same thing. A far more logical solution would be to use clothingto protect you against the sun.
So what is the cause ofskin cancer and the deadly melanoma?
I may sound like I am onmy soapbox again but, it is the omega 6:3 oil ratio.
I quote from CancerRes 2000 Aug 1;60(15):4139-45:
"Epidemiological,experimental, and mechanistic data implicate omega-6 fat as stimulatorsand long-chain omega-3 fats as inhibitors of development and progressionof a range of human cancers, including melanoma."
Last year, the prestigiousNational Academy of Sciences published a comprehensivereview showing that the omega 6:3 ratio was the key to preventingskin cancer development. An Australianstudy done ten years ago showed a 40% reduction in melanoma for thosewho were eating fish. And this was without any attention to lowering omega-6fats.
So, do I recommend you popsome fish oil pills and go out and get as much sun as you would like?
You must exercise caution.At the beginning of the season go out gradually, perhaps as little asten minutes a day. Progressively increase your time in the sun so thatin a few weeks, you will be able to have normal sun exposure with littlerisk of skin cancer.
Remember never to get burned,that is the key.
Remember also never to usesunscreen, another key. You can creatively use your clothing to blockthe sun’s rays during your build-up time.
The bottom line is, pleaseavoid getting sucked into the hype that sunlight is dangerous. It is onlydangerous if you are clueless about fat nutrition, which most medicaldoctors are. If you choose to ignore your omega 6:3 ratio and stay outof the sun, you could limit your risk of skin cancer, but is that worththe risk of getting MS, breast or prostate cancer?