One of the things I have NEVER understood is the appeal of lying in the sun for the sole purpose of lying in the sun; seemed like a waste of time. Going swimming or playing a sport or working on a sunny day, that was OK.
* “Exposure to sun causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces.” Years ago, visiting my sister in Southern California, I vividly remember seeing this woman at her church. Deep tan, presumably attractive, but her skin looked like shoe leather.
* “Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of all cancers in the U.S. and the number of cases continues to rise. It is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. This rapid growth results in tumors, which are either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).”
Think those tanning beds are safer? Not according to the US Federal Trade Commission, which notes that claims such as “Get a beautiful tan indoors without increasing your risk of skin cancer” or “Indoor tanning is safer than the sun because the environment is controlled” are myths. In fact, “compared with nonusers, the risk for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma increased by 15 percent for every four visits made to a tanning booth per year; the risk for melanoma increased by 11 percent.” High school and college-aged folks are more vulnerable than those 25-34.
Personally, I always wear hats, even on overcast days. The trick with this winter that wasn’t in the continental US – March was more than 8 degrees F, about 3 degrees C, warmer than normal, more like April – so while it cut down on our heating bills, it also had me needing to get out the sunscreen much earlier. While my face has darkened somewhat from its vitiligo lightest, my hands and other parts of my body will still burn as though I were a red-haired Irish schoolgirl.
So what song should I finish with? Beatles? Sheryl Crow? Bill Withers? Nah, someone I actually saw perform at my college, Jonathan Edwards singing Sunshine.