Even though with all this rain it may not seem like it, but Summer is here. And so are all the posts and blogs on remembering to wear your sunscreen. Once in a while, I will come in to work and a patient will notice my glowing tan. :) And they will make a comment like, "Wow, you got some sun this weekend." or I have even heard "Doctor you got a lot of Sun, that's not too healthy." The latter one I remember following up with "I get Sun for my health." To no surprise this new patient looked sort of puzzled. Well I am here to say we have been brainwashed and lied to for a long time about the Sun. Before I go any further I want to say, I do not advocate frying yourself or getting burned. There are obviously limits and everything in moderation, but I want you to understand the Sun is not your enemy. You desperately need it to survive.
As you have probably already concluded I have a different point of view on the Sun and Sunscreen than most people. So how did I arrive here. Well let's start with basic knowledge on how life works. Everything needs the Sun to survive, grow, and be healthy. Correct? We all know that if we starve a plant from the Sun it will die. So how are we different? Let me ask you a question, do you think sitting in an office all day, all week, and then avoiding the Sun like the plague on weekends is a recipe for growth? Would that work for your plant? Of course not. Ok so we got the basic understanding that we need the Sun to survive.
Now let's go in to disease rates. Are disease and cancer rates going up or going down? Going up, at an alarming rate. It has actually been predicted that cancer rates in the next decade are going to double and cancer will surpass heart disease as the number one killer in the US. But skin cancer rates should be going down right? I mean, we have all this sunscreen. Wrong, skin cancer rates also continue to go up. So we have more access to sunscreen than ever before, more warnings about the sun than ever before, yet skin cancer rates are going up? Yea, I know. Not adding up. When you speak to people a generation behind mine, do you know what they used in the sun growing up? Sun tan oil! Not sunscreen! Yet now skin cancer rates continue to go up, in younger and younger populations I might add. So what is the argument and explanation behind the rise in skin cancer rates? That people now have a false sense of security with all of the sunscreen and are in the sun more. Ummm I call BS. Just look at prior generations, like I mentioned and look at Vitamin D rates.
Have you heard anything about Vitamin D? You know the thing that is absolutely vital to fighting disease and supporting your immune system. We are deficient. Actually beyond deficient. But where do you get Vitamin D from? A supplement? Well that's not the original source, you guessed it, we get it from the Sun! So let's recap so far, Vitamin D helps you fight disease and cancer, you get it from the Sun, yet we are told to avoid the sun, and as a result cancer rates are going up. Yup.
Ok but you said you do not advocate burning, so what do I wear? Well most sunscreens are completely toxic. That is right, most commercial sunscreens can cause cancer themselves. Did you see the surgeon general's warning last year not to use spray sunscreens on your kids? Yet we still all continue to use them, spraying and breathing in toxic aerosols. But they are convenient, right now they are. There are many more natural sunscreens and better options out there. A website and valuable resource to use is EWG, On the website you can put nearly any cosmetic in and they generate a rating on how safe or how toxic it is. It will help you when making a decision on which sunscreen to use. Some brands my family uses are;`
There are also just smart decisions like wearing a hat, or limiting exposure with an umbrella or sun shirt. When I am on vacation, my kids always have a sun shirt and hat on.
So you still aren't convinced? Well this article came out yesterday about a study that is linking erectile dysfunction drugs to skin cancer. Big names like Viagra and Cialis. You can view it here. So there are other factors than the sun that can contribute to skin cancer? No way!!! Like things internally? Or things that are toxic? Of course! Cancer is abnormal mutated cells. But the Sun gets all the blame.
I also have two personal stories with skin cancer. I had a close friend that was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. He went to this special cancer doctor in Spain. They tested his hormones and his stress hormones were out of control. So what did the doctor do? He put him on a beach for a month to relax. Wait what? A person with skin cancer, go sit on the beach? Well my friend is still here today, I know that. I also have a family member who was diagnosed with skin cancer. The only weird thing is this family member avoids the sun like the plague. He never leaves the house without lathering himself until he looks like Casper, and always had one of those big goofy hats on as well. So how did he get cancer? Makes you think right?
*One note; I do NOT advocate the use of tanning beds. Why? It falls in to the same category as I make decisions with food or anything else. It's not natural. Go to the original natural source!
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