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During the summer months in Canada, is it necessary to apply Sun screen lotion on our body to prevent skin cancer?

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During the summer months in Canada, i never apply sunscreen lotion on my skin because i don't like the feeling of oily substances on my skin when i go out to work. My work is mostly outdoors and my skin is exposed to sunlight for at least 5 to 6 hours each day. My skin have become quite brown and dark due to long exposure to sunlight. Will this cause cancer to my skin? Someone told me that getting too much sunlight on our skin can cause a person to have skin cancer. I was told to apply some sunscreen lotion every time that i go our for my work. But does this sunscreen lotion actually helps? Can i not apply the regular Vaseline skin lotion instead?

Other people point out that applying sunscreen lotion will instead prevent a person from absorbing sunlight, since sunlight is important for making vitamin D. From what i understand is that when sunlight hits our skin, our body absorbs the sunlight and starts making vitamin D. But when we apply sunscreen lotion, this process is going to be disturbed and might result in our body not making any Vitamin D even though we are getting sunshine. I would like to know what other people has to say about this?
asked in Cape Breton by Jyoti Shah (120 points)

1 Answer

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Applying sunscreen lotion to your body has certain benefits such as preventing extreme dryness of the skin and sun burn. However, not everyone will need sunscreen lotion. You can instead use any skin moisturizing cream and apply it before going out for outdoor works and it does the same thing as sunscreen lotion which is to prevent extreme dryness. But sunscreen lotion has one advantage of preventing sun burn.

Too much sunscreen lotion is not good as well since, like you just mentioned that it blocks the skin from getting direct sunshine and making vitamin D. Vitamin D is an important factor in maintaining proper bone density and helps in preventing brittleness of the bones. Most people in Canada does not get enough sunshine during the winter months because people are bundled up in their warm thick clothes and there is no way for their skin to make Vitamin D naturally. That is why most physicians will advise their patients to take Vitamin D tablet orally to maintain the level of Vitamin D in the blood.

If you know you are going to be exposed to the sun directly for long period of time each day, applying Sunscreen lotion on your body will help your body in the long term. Scientist around the world have studied the effect of sunshine in causing skin cancer and they had cautioned people to take precaution when it comes to direct exposure to the sun for long period of time everyday. SInce Canada is located in the northern hemisphere of the earth where the sky ozone layer is thinner, the sunshine in Canada tend to be much stronger and harmful than other countries located further towards the middle of the earth. The Ultra Violet light is quite harmful to our skin and it exist even during cloudy days. Wearing sunglasses blocks this harmful ultra violet rays from hurting your eyes.

You will be surprised to know that your skin will not dry out as fast nearly if you live in tropical countries. Whereas in Canada, you will notice in some places that your skin dries out real fast and that you need to keep moisturizing your skin often everyday. You will also notice that you can get sunburn much easier in Canada than in tropical countries.
answered by Dani Assaf (155 points)

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