From the Parish Nurse, Dora Muller

The tans will fade, but the memories will last forever.

Summer is finally here.  It’s time to play outside and enjoy the warmth of the sun.  But with the sun, we also need skin protection.  The danger from sun exposure is a reality which can lead to burned skin and possible skin cancer.  My husband is one of those people who can give a lecture on the exact angle of the noon day sun at specific times of the year and the intensity of the sun’s rays.  Believe me, after hearing his lecture, we will all run for sunscreen, sunblock, and learn more about SPF factor.  But what are the sunscreen and sunblock products and how do they protect us?  Both products provide protection from the sun.  Sunscreen is chemical and is absorbed into the skin to protect the skin from the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) rays.  On the other hand, sunblocks are physical barriers in which the main ingredients are zinc and/or titanium and prevent UV radiation from reaching the skin, i.e. remain on the surface of the skin and reflect the UV rays away from the skin.  SPF (sun protection factor) is a relative measure of how much time a sunscreen will protect one from UV rays.  Deciding which product is better is confusing.  Those that are absorbed into the skin versus those that remain on the skin.  In either case, prevention of skin damage is necessary.  Remember, a high SPF number does not necessarily result in higher protection, but rather is an indicator that we may need to reapply the product or get out of the sun.  While we enjoy the warm kiss of the sun, we need to be proactive by caring for our skin and thus avoid damaging the health of our skin.