GET THE PROPER ANGLE OF APPROACH TO YOUR SUNSCREEN GAME!

Everyone is familiar with the SPF system which rates the level of UVB or sunburn protection; however, people remain unfamiliar with the dangers posed by UVA rays.  They are responsible for solar aging and the majority of sun induced melanomas.

The process of solar aging involves chronic long-term exposure to micro-doses of UVA light. UVA exposure produces damage over years, by inducing a multitude of tiny “scars”; in which one, etched over another, over time cause the visible wrinkle.

Ninety percent of the skin in composed of the thick, tough collagen which lies directly beneath the surface epidermis. It is the interaction of UVA rays on the collagen that leads to aged skin. One would expect tough collagen to be unaffected directly by the low energy UVA rays. However, studies conducted by dermatologist Dr. John Voorhees, discovered that UVA rays alter the way new collagen is laid down and old collagen is broken down. Specifically Voorhees determined that exposure to UVA rays turns on genes resulting in the production of enzymes that promote collagen breakdown, while at the same time turning on different genes that inhibit new collagen formation. The result is that one damages collagen each and every time one is exposed to UVA rays. One can see the cumulative effect of this damage in U.S. truckers versus English truckers. The U.S. truckers have more pronounced solar aging on the left side of the face versus the right side for the English who drive on the other side of the road.

Even more worrisome than solar aging it the fact that UVA exposure is now strongly linked to sun induced melanoma. Long wavelength UVA rays interact with melanin containing melanocytes producing oxidative byproducts which lead to melanoma induction.  It is possible to wear a sunscreen that has great UVB or sunburn protection, but little in the way of long wavelength (greater than 350nm) UVA protection.

This will allow someone to stay out in the sun for hours without getting burned, but all the time “cooking” themselves with melanoma inducing UVA rays. Perhaps it is no coincident that the incidence of melanoma has exploded at the same time there has been ever more pervasive sunscreen use.

The key is to know a product’s Critical Wavelength® value. This value tells a consumer how far out a sunscreen’s protective umbrella extends across the UVB/UVA spectrum.  This rating system has recently been adopted by the U.S. FDA as the standard for making any broad spectrum, anti-aging, or skin cancer prevention claim. It is important to know this value.

So what does all this mean to golfers, or anyone spending long hours enjoying the outdoors? Well if you don’t want your face to look like a worn out saddle, get proactive:

1. Use not just a high SPF sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher), but one with a known level of UVA protection. Critical Wavelength® is the gold standard rating the level of UVA protection. This Critical Wavelength® value needs to be over 370nm. All LUCA Sunscreen products display a Critical Wavelength® value.

2. Apply sunscreen to dry skin before going outside. Application to wet or sweaty skin markedly reduces effectiveness.

3. Use sun protective clothing, broad brimmed hats and shirts.

4. Reapply sunscreen every two hours to dry skin. Most people apply less than half of that is recommended.

5. Use common sense and avoid direct sun exposure when practical. UVB rays or sunburning rays are most intense in the midday, during the summertime, but UVA rays remain constant all day and all year long. The incidence of skin cancers including deadly melanoma is increasing at epidemic proportions but being proactive, particularly at a young age might just save your life, and keep you looking younger longer.

- Karl Gruber M.D.

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT S_ _

“Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) is a book (1969, updated 1999) by U.S. physician Dr. David Reuben. It was one of the first sex manuals that entered mainstream culture in the 1960s and had a profound effect on sex education and in liberalizing attitudes towards sex. It was the most popular non-fiction book of its era and became part of the Sexual Revolution of modern America.”

IT IS TIME TO DROP THE TOWEL AND TALK ABOUT SUN! Dr. Karl Gruber, founder of LUCA Sunscreen answers all you question about Safe Sun, Sun Protection, Sun Abstinence, and more. Please Contact Us for questions or concerns not addressed below!

HOW DOES SUNSCREEN WORK?
WHAT DOES SPF MEAN?
WHAT ARE UVB Rays?
What Are UVA Rays?
WHAT IS CRITICAL WAVELENGTH?
WHAT IS AVOBENZONE AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
WHAT DOES “STABILIZED” AVOBENZONE MEAN?
WHAT IS MELANOMA?
WHAT PART OF THE SOLAR SPECTRUM CAUSES MELANOMA, UVA OR UVB?
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TWO DIFFERENT SUNSCREENS WITH THE SAME SPF VALUE?
CAN I GET BURNED ON A CLOUDY DAY?
IS IT IMPORTANT TO RE-APPLY SUNSCREEN?
HOW DOES THE HUMAN BODY PROTECT ITSELF FROM SUNBURN?
CAN SOME SKINCARE PRODUCTS, MEDICATIONS and ALLERGIES AFFECT MY SENSITIVITY TO THE SUN?
IS IT SAFE TO USE SUNSCREEN ON AN INFANT?

HOW DOES SUNSCREEN WORK?
Sunscreen lotions work by absorbing, reflecting or scattering UV light. Sunscreen ingredients are either physical (reflecting) or chemical (absorbing, scattering) in nature. Many products contain a combination of ingredients. Regardless of the combination of ingredients, it is important to select a product that rates its level of UVA protection.

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WHAT DOES SPF MEAN?
SPF (sun protection factor) measures how long it takes sunscreen protected skin to begin to sunburn (turn red) as compared to unprotected skin. For instance, if it takes unprotected skin takes 10 minutes to burn, and then sunscreen protected skin with a SPF value of 15 will take 150 minutes to burn. SPF values only rates the level of UVB protection.

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WHAT ARE UVB Rays?
UVB rays produce the familiar sunburn. They also cause skin cancer. SPF (sun protection factor) ratings effectively rate the level of UVB protection provided by sun protection products. The UVB rays with short wavelength and high energy, produce a burning effect (sunburn) confined predominately to the surface of the epidermis.

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What Are UVA Rays?
UVA rays have a longer wavelength than UVB rays, penetrating deeper into the skin, and produce the aging associated with chronic sun exposure such as: skin sagging, loss of elasticity, pigment changes, deep wrinkles, and dry skin. Recent studies have shown a strong link between UVA rays and the development of melanoma. Critical Wavelength (CW) is the international standard to rate the level of protection against UVA rays.

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WHAT IS CRITICAL WAVELENGTH?
Critical Wavelength® (CW) is the most effective way to rate UVA protection. Solar radiation travels in waves. The wavelength corresponds to the solar energy of the wave. Solar radiation of 290nm to 400nm (the UVB-UVA range) is reproduced in a laboratory device designed to measure the amount of radiation absorbed by a sunscreen. Starting at the beginning of the UVB range (290nm), progressively higher wavelengths of light are aimed at the sunscreen. A protective absorption curve or “umbrella” is produced. The Critical Wavelength defines how far this umbrella (actually 90% of the umbrella) extend into the UVA range. So for a Critical Wavelength of 383nm, 90% of the sunscreen’s protective “umbrella is between the beginning of the UVB range (290nm) to 383nm (see Graph below) The higher the number, the better. A sunscreen with a Critical Wavelength® over 370nm is considered by the FDA to provided ultimate Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

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WHAT IS AVOBENZONE AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Avobenzone is the best UVA filter available. It, along with zinc and titanium dioxide, are the only compounds which are FDA approved for protection against UVA rays. Consumers often say that zinc and titanium dioxide formulations feel “heavy.” Avobenzone formulations by comparison are light and cosmetically elegant. The highest Critical Wavelengths (CW) are also achieved in formulations using stabilized avobenzone.

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WHAT DOES “STABILIZED” AVOBENZONE MEAN?
Although Avobenzone is a superior UVA absorber, it is a photounstable compound, meaning that it breaks down quickly in sunlight. It is necessary for formulations using avobenzone to be stabilized. LUCA Sunscreen products use Polycrylene® (The HallStar Company) to stabilize avobenzone. Manufactures not only need to provide a Critical Wavelength to rate UVA protection, but this measurement should be performed on specimens which have been irradiated to simulate 4-6 hours in intense sunlight, proving that the formulations have been effectively stabilized.

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WHAT IS MELANOMA?
Melanoma, a very serious skin cancer, is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing tanning cells. Melanomas may suddenly appear without warning but can also develop from or near a mole. They are found most frequently on the upper backs of men and women or on the legs of women, but can occur anywhere on the body. For more information on Skin Cancers like deadly Melanoma go to The Skin Cancer Foundation website

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WHAT PART OF THE SOLAR SPECTRUM CAUSES MELANOMA, UVA OR UVB?
Although initially thought to be harmless, new epidemiological, genetic, and animal studies have shown that UVA exposure is the cause of sun induced melanoma. A strong argument can be made that UVA rays are in fact more dangerous than sunburn producing UVB rays. For scientific background information linking UVA exposure to melanoma please click here.

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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TWO DIFFERENT SUNSCREENS WITH THE SAME SPF VALUE??
Formulation. Many sunscreens have the same or similar active ingredients, but the difference is the base formula in which those active ingredients are placed. It is the formulation that determines how well a sunscreen works. Actives are important, but the choice and combination of inactives plays a vital role in determining if a formula achieves or even exceeds the expected SPF value with a given concentration of active ingredients. LUCA formulations are designed to get the maximum amount of protection from the lowest concentration of active ingredients.

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CAN I GET BURNED ON A CLOUDY DAY?
Absolutely. According to the World Health Organization, up to 80% of UV radiation can pass through the clouds. Other environmental factors to consider include altitude, time of day, where you live, season, UV index, and UV reflection off of snow, sand or water. Check the UV index for your location here.

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IS IT IMPORTANT TO RE-APPLY SUNSCREEN?
The first application of applying sunscreen should happen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure. Additional applications of sunscreen are recommended primarily for insuring the original application of sunscreen serves its purpose rather than allowing the user to extend their time in the sun.

Many things can affect the need to reapply sunscreen. Excessive sweating, toweling off, wind, and swimming all hamper the ability for sunscreen to remain on the skin and make re-application important.

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HOW DOES THE HUMAN BODY PROTECT ITSELF FROM SUNBURN?
UV rays cause the skin to produce Melanin, a brown pigment, which acts as the body’s natural sunscreen. In addition, gradual exposure to sunlight produces a thickening of the outer skin. These both exist to defend the skin from harmful radiation.

Skin peeling after sunburn is another way the body protects itself. If a cell has a small amount of damage to its DNA, the damage will be repaired and continue to function normally. However, if the damage is excessive, the cell(s) will die because of an internal mechanism that won’t allow the cell to survive with such a mutation. It is the death of these gene-damaged cells that causes the skin to peel after sunburn.

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CAN SOME SKINCARE PRODUCTS, MEDICATIONS and ALLERGIES AFFECT MY SENSITIVITY TO THE SUN?
There are many medications (certain antibiotics for instance), and quite a few skin care products that cause sensitivity to sunlight. As such one should inquire about the potential for sun sensitivity before taking any medication or using a new skin care products. Many if not most of these skin reactions are UVA mediated, therefore you should look for a sunscreen with a high critical wavelength value…one over 370nm.

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IS IT SAFE TO USE SUNSCREEN ON AN INFANT?
Children under 6 months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight for any more than a brief period of time. Beyond having delicate skin, young babies have a high skin surface area to body mass ratio meaning that they “dry out” quickly in the sun. They can dehydrate much faster than older children or adults.

LUCA Max Sport sunscreen is the best product for children. It was designed for endurance athletes, people who sweat heavily; knowing that sunscreens eventually sweat into eyes after hours in the sun or in a humid environment. It can be applied all around the eyes, eyelids etc. and will absolutely not cause irritation. We dare you!

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SUMMER HEALTH CARE TIPS FOR YOUR PET!

Here at LUCA Sunscreen, we have Dr. Karl to remind us about sun safety and tips for having fun in the sun!  But what about Fido or Fluffy? The American Association for Animal Hospitals (AAAH), Healthy Pet website has some great information on keeping your extended family member safe from the perils of the sun!   Just follow these few summer pet safety tips and you can keep your animal friends healthy and enjoy the months of sun and fun.

  • Never leave your pet in the car. Did you know the sun can raise the temperature inside your car to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes, even with the windows rolled down? Best leave your pet at home when running errands.
  • As you’re outside enjoying the warm weather, keep your pet leashed. It will keep them from getting lost, fighting other animals, and eating and drinking things that could make them sick. This tip isn’t just for dogs–even cats can learn to walk on a leash if you train them.
  • Water, water everywhere. Whether you’re indoors or out, both you and your pet need access to lots of fresh water during the summer, so check the water bowl several times a day to be sure it’s full.
  • Pets need sunscreen too. Though all that fur helps protect your animal, they can get sunburned, particularly if they have light skin and hair. Sunburn in animals can cause problems similar to those it can cause in people, including pain, peeling, and skin cancer. So keep your pet out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and when you do go out, rub a bit of LUCA Continuous Spray 50 or LUCA Max Sport 30 on unprotected areas like the tips of ears, the skin around the lips, and the tip of the nose.
  • Watch out for antifreeze. Hot weather may tempt your pet to drink from puddles in the street, which can contain antifreeze and other chemicals. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that animals like, but it’s extremely toxic. When you’re walking your pet, make sure they don’t sneak a drink from the street.
  • Be cautious on humid days. Humidity interferes with an animals’ ability to rid them of excess body heat. When we overheat we sweat, and when the sweat dries it takes excess heat with it. Our four-legged friends only perspire around their paws, which is not enough to cool the body. To rid themselves of excess heat, animals pant. Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body. As it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it. Although this is a very efficient way to control body heat, it is severely limited in areas of high humidity or when the animal is in close quarters.
  • Make sure your pet doesn’t overexert herself. Though exercise is an important part of keeping your dog or cat at a healthy weight, which helps their body stay cool, overdoing it can cause them to overheat. Keep the walks to a gentle pace and make sure you’re carrying plenty of water. Excess panting means its’ time to stop.
  • Take it easy on pets that can’t deal with the heat. Elderly, very young, and ill animals have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so make sure they stay cool and out of the sun on steamy summer days. Overweight dogs are also more prone to overheating, because their extra layers of fat act as insulation, which traps heat in their bodies and restricts their breathing capabilities.
  • Bring them inside. Animals shouldn’t be left outside unsupervised on long, hot days, even in the shade. Shade can move throughout the afternoon, and pets can become ill quickly if they overheat, so keep them inside as much as possible.
  • Keep an eye out for heatstroke. Heatstroke is a medical emergency. If you suspect your pet has heatstroke, you must act quickly and calmly. Have someone call a veterinarian immediately. In the meantime, lower the animal’s body temperature by applying towels soaked in cool water to the hairless areas of the body. Often the pet will respond after only a few minutes of cooling, only to falter again with his temperature soaring back up or falling to well below what is normal. With this in mind, remember that it is imperative to get the animal to a veterinarian immediately. Once your pet is in the veterinarian’s care, treatment may include further cooling techniques, intravenous fluid therapy to counter shock, or medication to prevent or reverse brain damage.

Signs of Heatstroke:

  • Panting
  • Staring
  • Anxious expression
  • Refusal to obey commands
  • Warm, dry skin
  • High fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Vomiting
  • Collapse

Even with emergency treatment, heatstroke can be fatal. The best cure is prevention by just following the outlined tips.  Your pet counts on you to keep them out of harm’s way.  Both you and your furry friends can enjoy those long, hot, dog-days of summer without a care in the world!

FDA ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO BETTER INFORM CONSUMERS ABOUT SUNSCREEN

For Immediate Release: June 14, 2011
Media Inquiries: Shelly Burgess, 301-796-4651, shelly.burgess@fda.hhs.gov
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

FDA Announces Changes to Better Inform Consumers About Sunscreen
New Rules Give Consumers More Information to Help Reduce the Risk of Skin Cancer, Early Aging

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that sunscreen products meeting modern standards for effectiveness may be labeled with new information to help consumers find products that, when used with other sun protection measures, reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging, as well as help prevent sunburn.

The final regulation allows sunscreen products that pass the FDA’s test for protection against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to be labeled as “Broad Spectrum.” Both UVB and UVA radiation contribute to sunburn, skin cancer, and premature skin aging. Sunburn is primarily caused by UVB radiation.

Under the new labeling, sunscreens labeled as both Broad Spectrum and SPF 15 (or higher), if used regularly, as directed, and in combination with other sun protection measures will help prevent sunburn, reduce the risk of skin cancer, and reduce the risk of early skin aging.

“FDA has evaluated the data and developed testing and labeling requirements for sunscreen products, so that manufacturers can modernize their product information and consumers can be well-informed on which products offer the greatest benefit,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “These changes to sunscreen labels are an important part of helping consumers have the information they need so they can choose the right sun protection for themselves and their families.”

Products that have SPF values between 2 and 14 may be labeled as Broad Spectrum if they pass the required test, but only products that are labeled both as Broad Spectrum with SPF values of 15 or higher may state that they reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging, when used as directed.

Any product that is not Broad Spectrum, or that is Broad Spectrum but has an SPF between 2 to 14, will be required to have a warning stating that the product has not been shown to help prevent skin cancer or early skin aging.

“Most skin cancers are caused by sun exposure. FDA encourages consumers to protect themselves,” Woodcock added.  “Not only should consumers regularly apply and reapply sunscreens with Broad Spectrum and SPF of 15 or higher, they should also limit sun exposure.”

In addition to the final rule for sunscreen labeling, today the FDA released three additional regulatory documents — a Proposed Rule, an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for Dosage Forms, and a Draft Enforcement Guidance for Industry.

  • The proposed rule would limit the maximum SPF value on sunscreen labels to “50 +”, because there is not sufficient data to show that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide greater protection for users than products with SPF values of 50.  The proposal creates the opportunity for the submission of data to support including higher SPF values in the final rule. FDA looks forward to receiving public comment on this document.
  • The ANPR will allow the public a period of time to submit requested data addressing the effectiveness and the safety of sunscreen sprays and to comment on possible directions and warnings for sprays that the FDA may pursue in the future, among other issues regarding dosage forms for sunscreens.
  • The Draft Enforcement Guidance for Industry outlines information to help sunscreen product manufacturers understand how to label and test their products in light of the new final rule and other regulatory initiatives.

To ensure that sunscreen products meet modern safety standards, FDA is also currently reexamining the safety information available for active ingredients included in sunscreens marketed today. The ingredients in sunscreens marketed today have been used for many years and FDA does not have any reason to believe these products are not safe for consumer use.

The new regulations will become effective for most manufacturers in one year.  Manufacturers with annual sales less than $25,000 have two years to comply.

DO YOU KNOW TOP 10 RISK SIGNS FOR GETTING MELANOMA?

Take a moment to answer these 10 questions about your risk of getting Melanoma; the most deadly form of skin cancer. If you answer yes to any one or more of these, see a Dermatologist!

1. Has anyone in your family ever had melanoma?
Melanoma sometimes runs in families, so people with two or more close relatives who have had melanoma have an increased risk of developing melanoma themselves.

2. Do you now have, or have you ever had, non-cancerous, but unusual looking moles?
Certain types of mole patterns are typical of an increased risk of getting melanoma, such as moles called dysplastic nevi.

3. Have you been diagnosed with melanoma in the past?
People who have already had melanoma have an increased risk of getting melanoma in another place.

4. Are you taking any medications that might weaken your immune system (for example, corticosteroids)?
People with a weakened immune system—due to certain cancers, drugs given following organ transplants, or HIV/AIDS— have an increased risk of getting melanoma.

5. Do you have more than 50 ordinary moles?
The risk of melanoma is greater for people with a large number of ordinary moles.

6. Did you have one or more severe, blistering sunburns as a child or teenager?
People who have had one or more severe, blistering sunburns as a child or teenager have an increased risk for melanoma. Sunburns in adulthood are also a risk factor for melanoma.

7. Do you have many freckles?
Melanoma occurs more often in people with fair skin that freckles easily.

8. Do you have fair skin and light eyes?
Melanoma occurs more often in people with fair skin that burns easily. These people also usually have red or blond hair and blue eyes. Fair-skinned people have less melanin in their skin and therefore less protection against the sun’s damaging UV rays.

9. Do you live in the Southwestern United States?
Melanoma is more common in people who live in areas with large amounts of UV radiation from the sun, such as the Southwestern United States.

10. Do you frequently spend time in the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM without skin protection?
UV radiation from the sun is most intense when the sun is highest in the sky—generally midday, between 10 AM and 4 PM. Spending time in the sun during these hours increases your exposure to UV radiation and the risk for developing melanoma.

http://www.melanomaintl.org

LUCA® SCIENCE

The Science Behind LUCA® Sunscreen

by Dr. Karl Gruber

We all are familiar with the SPF system which rates the level of UVB or sunburn protection. However, most are unfamiliar with the dangers posed by UVA rays. These rays are responsible for pre-mature aging and sun induced skin cancer. Critical Wavelength® (CW) is the most effective way to rate UVA protection. Solar radiation travels in waves. The wavelength corresponds to the solar energy of the wave. Solar radiation of 290nm to 400nm (the UVB-UVA range) is reproduced in a laboratory device designed to measure the amount of radiation absorbed by a sunscreen.

Starting at the beginning of the UVB range (290nm), progressively higher wavelengths of light are aimed at the sunscreen. A protective absorption curve or “umbrella” is produced. The Critical Wavelength defines how far this umbrella (actually 90% of the umbrella) extend into the UVA range. So for a Critical Wavelength of 383nm, 90% of the sunscreen’s protective “umbrella is between the beginning of the UVB range (290nm) to 383nm (see Graph below) The higher the number, the better. A sunscreen with a Critical Wavelength® over 370nm is considered by the FDA to provided ultimate Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

Now the FDA agrees and has issued a recent ruling on sunscreen labeling.  According to the rule all Sunscreens that are defined as Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection must meet the 370nm Critical Wavelength® by summer 2012. Good daily UVA protection is very important. Chronic, long term, unprotected sun exposure causes micro-doses of UVA light to the skin. This UVA exposure produces damage over the years, by inducing a multitude of tiny “scars” where over time cause wrinkles, sun spots, loss of elasticity, thinning skin and a greater potential for skin cancer. As a pathologist, I have seen an increase in the numbers of skin carcinomas and melanomas which are diagnosed each year in an ever younger patient population.

According to the American Cancer Society, in 1985, one out of 150 people developed UVA related melanoma. The lifetime risk of an American developing invasive melanoma has now reached one in 87 one in 70 for white males) Melanoma rates are now rising faster than for any other form of skin cancer.

We believe LUCA® is the best UVA/UVB sunscreen available in the United States, because our formulations contain Polycrylene®, a novel Avobenzone stabilizer and strengthener. Avobenzone provides great UVA protection, but without the addition of Polycrylene®, it begins to breakdown after 10 minutes in intense sunlight.

The graph below illustrates the protection with LUCA® versus a “good” broad spectrum formulation. Notice that both give good UVB protection and both can state UVA/UVB on the label; however LUCA® gives substantially more UVA protection. The orange area shows the increased protection possible with LUCA® because we use Avobenzone which has been stabilized and strengthened by Polycrylene®. With the release of new FDA labeling standards, we at LUCA® are thrilled because we meet and exceed the Critical Wavelength® rating of 370(nm) on all our products. That’s why LUCA® Sunscreen can be defined at the Ultimate in Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection for your family. So don’t wait until next summer!  You can have the best protection under the sun right now with LUCA® Sunscreen!

Polycrylene® is a registered trademark of The HallStar Company.

LISTEN UP! MELANOMA IS THE DEADLIEST FORM OF SKIN CANCER

It is that time year for sunbathing and being outside across America.  Summer is officially here and sure to make every dermatologist and skin cancer survivor cringe!

Beaches, gardens, golf courses across the nation are full of unprotected skin!  It’s time for the story on sun protection and skin cancer.   You’ve heard it before…but do you listen?

As a group, most are well-aware of the risks of sun damage; from pre-mature aging, to skin cancer. While some of us wear sunglasses and varying degrees of sunscreen (from SPF 4 to 100), no one wears hats. 10am – 4pm are the most intense hours of sunlight. Shade is critical.   Let me say it again.  Shade is critical!

Sure being in the sun is relaxing, a particularly nice stress relief whether you’re gardening, running or laying on a beach.  Some people actual say they feel “healthier” after a day in the sun.  These folks are ideal illustrations of where the nation stands on the issue.  Dr. Bruce Thiers, chairman of the Medical University of South Carolina’s dermatology department said in an interview, “People know the dangers. The word is out,” says Thiers. “It’s like smoking. There’s not one smoker who doesn’t know that smoking is bad. You can’t force people to change their behavior.”

Also like smoking, Thiers said, “Young people, especially teens, men and those in the 20s, are particularly vulnerable to ignoring warnings and not taking precautions.”  So here we go again and remind you of sun safety!  These simple precautions are worth repeating: Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; seek out shade whenever possible; wear protective clothing, a broad-brimmed hat and wrap-around sunglasses; and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 (MINIMUM) at least 30 minutes before going outside and reapplying it every two hours. Those with a family history of skin cancer, or who have had skin cancer, should have an appointment with a dermatologist every year.

You don’t have to become a hermit you just need to exercise common sense.

Research on the deadliest form of skin cancer; melanoma, found the following factors associated with melanoma detection: a history of blistering sunburns as a teenager; red or blond hair; marked freckling of the upper back; a family history of melanoma; a history of actinic keratosis, an early stage of skin cancer; and outdoor summer jobs for three or more years as a teenager.

Other previous studies examining risk factors for melanoma have shown correlations between melanoma and a range of associations, such as women and men with a prior history of breast cancer having an increased risk of developing melanoma; higher socioeconomic class being linked to a higher incidence of melanoma because this group may be able to afford more leisure time that could result in more sun exposure; and use of tanning beds is a major risk factor for melanoma.

Finally look for your sunscreen’s UVA rating on the product.  If it’s not there it should cause you to pause.  UVA Rays are more dangerous than UVB rays.  They are linked to pre-mature aging and skin cancers like Melanoma.  If your sunscreen does not have a UVA rating—also known as Critical Wavelength—of at least 370 nanometers than it cannot be defined as a Broad Spectrum Sunscreen according to the American Academy of dermatology!  So read your labels and take sun protection seriously, it could save your life!

Now,  are you listening?

KIDS ARE VUNERABLE TO THE SUN

There are some facts worth noting about children and sun exposure:

  • Fifty percent (50%) of lifetime sun exposure occurs during childhood and adolescence.
  • It takes only 10 minutes in intense sun for a young child to get a sunburn.
  • A person born today is twice as likely to develop skin cancer as one born 10 years ago.
  • Sunburns occurring in childhood are a risk factor for the development of skin cancers like melanoma.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies under the age of six months. Consult your physician for children over 6 months

SPF’s higher than 50 provide a false sense of security, making parents feel that it is not necessary to re-apply as often. It is best to use a minimum of SPF 30 and re-apply at least every 2 hours. Apply sunscreen to dry skin at least 20 minutes prior to going into the water.

If a child develops a reaction to a SPF 50 sunscreen, try using a SPF 30 or SPF 15. They will have lower levels of active ingredients that will be potentially less irritating.

BITE BACK!

An Ounce of Quality Skin Protection Is Like Catching A Big Blue Marlin!
A Wavelength of 370 nanometers is defined as a Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Sunscreen.  According to the American Cancer Society, in 1985, one out of 150 people developed UVA related melanoma, the fastest growing skin cancer. The lifetime risk of an American developing invasive melanoma has now reached one in 87 (one in 70 for white males) Melanoma rates are now rising faster than for any other cancer; especially in men. So what does this mean to us anglers? Well, if you don’t want your face to look like a Toad Fish be proactive and follow these simple steps to enjoying the great outdoors:  1. Use a high SPF sunscreen (SPF 30), that also lists the level of UVA protection. This Critical Wavelength value needs to be over 370nm. All LUCA Sunscreen products display a Critical Wavelength value and exceed the 370nm standard. 2. Apply sunscreen to dry skin at least 15 minutes before going outside. 3. Use sun protective clothing, broad brimmed hats and shirts. 4. Re-apply sunscreen every two hours to dry skin. (Most people apply less than half of that is recommended.) 5. Use common sense and avoid direct sun exposure when practical. UVB rays or sun burning rays are most intense midday especially in the summertime; but UVA rays remain constant all day and all year long. With the proven incidence of skin cancers including deadly melanoma increasing at epidemic proportions, bite back by being proactive and always wearing sunscreen that has both UVB and UVA protection. You will be telling the story about “the one that got away” long into your golden years!

Charleston COASTAL ANGLER MAGAZINE MAY 2011