Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More on Healthy Sun Exposure


My severe sunburn is mostly healed.  I spent 3 hours by the pool in my new swimsuit, with some usage of a wrap when sitting by the pool chatting, and no additional damage was done.  Before the big 3 hour stretch, I several times put on my new swimsuit and spent 5-10 minutes outside getting moderate non-damaging exposure to accustom my skin that was covered by my old swimsuit to the sun.

I think the minimalist runner mantra of "Listen To Your Body" applies to sun exposure as well.  When I burned two weeks ago, my skin felt like it was heating up and loosing it's ability to self-regulate, but I put off getting into shade because I was having fun and kept wanting to do just one more thing...  Sunday at the pool I kept my wrap handy and covered my shoulders and head at the first sign of heat in the skin, and gave it a little time to recover before getting more sun.

I've also been considering what I've already read about sunlight and melanoma risk.  Statistical studies show that people with a history of sunburn are more likely to get melanoma, but they have had trouble reproducing this in the lab rats.  What else to people with a history of sun burn do?  They avoid the sun!  Is the burn itself, or the avoidance of sunlight that does more damage?