According to a recent piece by PopSugar, President Joe Biden was interviewed alongside Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), by Manny MUA, the makeu-up artists, YouTuber and beauty blogger. The interview ranged over a variety of subjects, including the importance of vaccination in the fight against Covid-19. As the interview concluded, Manny MUA asked the president what one product he would carry with him if he were to be stranded on a desert island.
President Biden joked that was hoping Manny MUA would ask him what one person he would bring to a desert island, because the answer would be his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, but he had an answer ready nonetheless: sunscreen.
Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays plays a major role in the risk of getting skin cancer. It’s impossible to be totally unexposed to the sun’s UV rays and perfectly armed against the risk of skin cancer, but there are things that you can do to fight back. As President Biden hinted, embracing broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection as a part of your daily routine, as well as other measures, can help you reduce the risk of skin cancer. Although there are a number of types of skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma the common defence against all of them is habitual, lifelong use of a sunscreen.
In order to reduce the risk of getting skin cancer, you should embrace limiting your exposure to the sun, especially between 10am and 2pm; as well as regularly use sunscreen with a broad spectrum SPF value of 15 or higher.
Skin cancer is extremely common despite being highly preventable. 20% of Americans will be diagnosed with it by the time they are 70 years old. It is the most common form of cancer in America. The primary cause of the majority of skin cancers is exposure to the sun’s UV rays. UV rays accelerate the skin’s aging process, and damage its DNA, resulting in mutations which cause cells to multiply uncontrollably, leading to cancer. This abnormal reproduction of cells can lead to the metastasizing of these cells, so that the cancer spreads across the body.
You just can’t let up. You need to make wearing sunscreen a part of your daily routine. Here’s a scary fact: having just 5 sunburns before you reach the age of 20 increases the risk of getting melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 80%! Yet sunburn and ultimately skin cancer is highly preventable if you regularly use a broad spectrum sunscreen, and, rather than spending hours under the sun’s harmful UV rays, get your tan using Solarium spray tanning. Professional tanning is much safer than prolonged UV exposure.
President Biden referenced his Irish heritage when explaining why he would take sunscreen to a desert island. The fact is, where you sit on the Fitzpatrick scale determines your risk of contracting skin cancer. As a fair skinned person, President Biden is particularly at risk. People with fair skin, who are type I and II on the Fitzpatrick scale, tan very little and are often sunburned. Understand your risk factors and wear some sunscreen. You don’t have to be on a desert island to need it!