Alliance for Hispanic Health Advises All Ages to Cover Up

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health “The FDA’s ruling to strengthen sunscreen testing will give consumers sunscreen that really protects them,” said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance). A number of sunscreens have been shown to protect only against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays that cause sunburn. This UVB protection is the SPF sunscreen rating seen on most sunscreen products.

However, ultraviolet A (UVA) rays also contribute to skin damage and skin cancer. The FDA ruling requires that by next summer any manufacturer that has not passed a test demonstrating protection against both UVA and UVB rays will be required to have a warning label that the product has not been shown to prevent skin cancer or early skin aging. “Everyone is at risk of skin cancer regardless of whether your skin is fair or dark. Skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body, but is most common in areas that have been exposed to sunlight, like the face, neck, hands, and arms,” said Dr. Delgado. As the FDA made its new rulemaking announcement, the Alliance announced its annual summer ¡Cúbrete! (Cover Up!) national skin cancer awareness campaign. According to Dr. Delgado, “when you call our toll-free Su Familia helpline, 1-866-783-2645, our team will send you a free ¡Cúbrete! hat to protect yourself from the sun this summer. We’ll also send you a fact sheet on how to prevent skin cancer and connect you to screening services where you live.”

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. with an estimated two million people diagnosed each year. Hispanics are about twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to never use sunscreen, 1.8 times more likely to never use sun-protective clothing, and 2.5 times more likely to have used a tanning bed in the previous year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises taking steps including staying out of sun from 10am to 4pm, using sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of at least 15 that includes both UVA and UVB protection, wearing a wide brim hat and sun glasses, and remaining alert for changes in your skin. According to recent research, tanning beds and lights are the highest cancer risk for humans.

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