Regardless of if a person is trying to up their Vitamin D levels or are simply heading out for the day, protecting lips with a product featuring a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 is a must! That level of protection can help shield individuals not only from cold sore outbreaks but sun damage that may contribute to oral cancer.
The Ugly, Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the generic name for when uncontrollable growth of cells invade and cause damage to surrounding tissue, specifically in the neck and head. Oral cancer has a higher mortality rate than other cancers as the disease typically receives a late diagnosis and by that time, the infection has spread elsewhere. According to http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/, "Close to 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 36,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years." Sun exposure is one factor that can up the odds of developing the condition.
Although tobacco and alcohol use is the biggest contributor to oral cancer, sun exposure (especially at an early age or continued frequency) also increases the odds of the troublesome cells of developing. The culprit is the ultraviolet radiation distributed via sunlight.
Caution needs to be implemented in order to get the perk and minimize any complications from arising from sun exposure. Some steps to help deliver the perfect balance include:
- Wear a sun sensor patch that automatically changes colors that alert consumers when they have reached their sun exposure limit.
- No sensor patch? Generally speaking, limit direct sun exposure to no more than ten minutes per day.
- Check your local UV index forecast to avoid overexposure to UV radiation (http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/whereyoulive.html).
- Make sure to apply sun block liberally when not working towards getting a daily dose. Everyone should make sure to apply the screen daily regardless of the weather.
- Never ever use tanning beds as they deliver powerful ultraviolet beams that will negatively impact skin health.
- Avoid soaking in midday rays as they are the most powerful and damaging to health.
- Babies under six months of age should not be exposed to direct.
If you can't remember the last time you went to see your dentist, the time is now and 1-800-DENTIST can connect you to a screened dentist, who can help diagnosis dental health issues caused by sun exposure, as well as assisting you with your oral hygiene needs.