Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Sun smarts
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Sun smarts

Kristi Kurjan - June 13th, 2011
Sun Smarts:Wearing sunscreen for healthy skin
By Kristy Kurjan
After a long winter, many of us are craving a dose of sun and sand. But
before anyone hits the beach, don’t forget to pack sunscreen! We sat down
with one of Northern Michigan’s top dermatologists, Dr. Mark Pomaranski
M.D., to discuss why he is so passionate about sunscreen usage and what we
can do to protect our skin.
Dermatology is the branch of medicine dealing with the skin and skin
diseases, including skin cancer. Dr. Pomaranski attended medical school at
the University of Michigan and completed his dermatology residency at
Henry Ford Health System. A dermatologist for over 11 years, he has
practiced for the last 6 years at Northwestern Michigan Dermatology PC in
Traverse City.
What makes frequent sunscreen application so important?
“Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers,
over 2 million non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed every year,” says
Dr. Pomaranski. “Around 40% of US residents don’t wear sunscreen and men
are less likely than women to use the product.”
This is an alarming number considering sunscreen is a proven deterrent in
preventing skin cancer.
With education the younger generation is increasingly becoming more
regular with their use but we still need to spread awareness on sunscreen.
Bottom line, studies have found an association between sunburns and the
enhanced risk for skin cancer. The good news is everyone can still enjoy
being outdoors, but good sun protection is essential! Here is what you
need to know:

The sun’s rays
There are two main reasons to wear sunscreen; to prevent accelerated skin
aging and to aid in the prevention of skin cancer. Dr. Pomaranski
explains, UVB rays are the sun’s burning rays and the primary cause of
sunburn. Excessive exposure to both UVB and UVA can lead to development of
skin cancer.
The American Academy of Dermatology guidelines recommends; “Regardless of
skin type, a broad-spectrum (protects against UVA and UVB rays),
water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least
30 should be used year-round.”
What is the ideal SPF for Northern Michigan summers? Dr. Pomaranski
advises a minimum of SPF 30, especially for individuals with a significant
history of skin cancer. Sunscreen should be applied 15-30 minutes before
exposure and every 2-4 hours afterward even on cloudy days. Be sure to
re-apply after swimming, intense physical activity and perspiration.

What to apply
Creams, lotions, sprays, gels; there are many forms of sunscreen
available, all of which work in similar ways to provide photoprotection.
Keep in mind, sun-rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. However, even
on a cloudy day up to 80% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can reach the
skin. Be vigilant when using sunscreen near water, sand and snow because
the surface reflects the sun’s damaging rays and increases the risk of
sunburn. Remember sunscreens expire, so always check the label! A good
rule of thumb is to replace your sunscreen each summer.
Sun protection factor (SPF) is a product’s ability to deflect the sun’s
burning rays. A product’s SPF is calculated by comparing the amount of
time to develop a sunburn with or without sunscreen. Dr. Pomaranski says
that a good number to remember is “30”; higher SPFs are not shown to
provide statistically significant increased protection. And, no, if you
add a SPF 15 and a SPF 25, it will not equal a SPF 40.

Sun prevention at any age is beneficial and it is never too late to start
wearing sunscreen. In addition to natural aging, UVA rays damage the skin
and rapidly accelerate the skin’s aging process, says Dr. Pomaranski. The
sun’s rays are known to lead to premature aging of the skin such as
wrinkling and age spots.
Look towards a high SPF sunscreen with provided protection to help prevent
this process. “The accumulated damage of UV exposure becomes more visibly
evident as we age however the negative effects are immediate.” He says, if
you notice anything changing, growing or bleeding on your skin have it
evaluated by a medical professional. Skin cancer is more treatable when
caught in the early stages.
A common misconception is the difference of one’s skin type impacts their
need for sunscreen, for example, fair skinned vs. olive toned.
“Melanin, the brown pigment in skin, absorbs ultraviolet radiation in an
effort to prevent damage to the skin,” says Dr. Pomaranski. “It’s
protective in nature, so, darker skin types in theory have more protection
but still not immune to developing skin cancer.” He says, no matter one’s
skin type or color, sunscreen is essential to a healthy lifestyle.
For those who like to have a nice tan in the summer, is tanning “okay” as
long as the skin does not burn?
“Tanning is what you should be avoiding, not trying to achieve!” says Dr.
Pomaranski. “A tan is the result of damage to the skin caused by the sun.
Tanning occurs when UV rays penetrate the epidermis, the skin’s outer
layer, and cause the production of melanin as a response to the injury.”
Avoid tanning beds which can cause skin cancer and wrinkling, instead try
self-tanning products and continue to use sunscreen.

Protective clothing
Education and awareness at a young age is essential to protecting the
younger generation’s skin from harm. UV damage is cumulative, everything
we obtained as a toddler, adolescent, young adult, adds up. In addition to
sunscreen, Dr. Pomaranski encourages protective clothing whenever possible
and to seek shade when appropriate.
“Sunscreen is essential but not perfect,” says Dr. Pomaranski. “Seek shade
and wear protective clothing whenever possible.” Long sleeve shirts,
pants, wide brimmed hats and sunglasses all help provide added protection
from the sun. The dermatologist says, typical white cotton t-shirts impart
UV protection of SPF 7, however it varies in the tightness of weave, color
and fibers in the fabric. Modern options are now available with built-in
sun protection, such as surfer shirts. This type of protective clothing is
an added advantage in the overall protection of skin damage.

Sun Smart Tips:

❂ Application: Sunscreen should be applied 15-30 minutes before
exposure and every 2-4 hours afterward even on cloudy days. A minimum SPF
30 is recommended.

❂ Use Extra Caution: Be vigilant when using sunscreen near water,
sand and snow because they reflect the sun’s damaging rays and increase
the risk of sunburn

❂ Re-Apply: Every 2-4 hours and after swimming, intense physical
activity, or perspiration.

❂ Check the Label: Sunscreens expire, a good rule is to replace

❂ Protective Clothing: Sunglasses, hats and clothing aid in
protecting skin from damage.

❂ Avoid Tanning Beds: If a tan is desired, self tanning products or
air brush tans are a better alternative.

❂  Get Checked: If you notice anything changing, growing or
bleeding on your skin have it evaluated by a medical professional.
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