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Sun Safety Campaign Raises Skin Cancer Awareness
Skin cancer is now the most common form of cancer in the U.S. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during the course of their lifetime, which makes smart sun protection and proper skin care more important than ever.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
With more than 2 million Americans diagnosed annually with skin cancer, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), along with innovative sun protection companies, have launched a public education campaign to increase awareness about the alarming rise of melanoma, the worrisome popularity of tanning beds, and the large number of ineffective sunscreens—many containing potentially harmful chemicals.
EWG is hoping that the new campaign can make proper sun safety as essential as seat belts in the minds of the public.
"Many of us spend hours outside and don't take simple steps to protect ourselves from the sun's harmful rays," said Ken Cook, president of EWG. "The good news is skin cancer is often preventable, and if we take some rather simple steps, we can bend the skin cancer curve away from rising rates."
Utilizing social media and tech-savvy initiatives, the Sun Safety campaign hopes to send a wake-up call to Americans—young people in particular—with clear, compelling strategies to reduce the risks of skin damage and cancer related to sun exposure and tanning beds.
According to EWG, the campaign is harnessing advanced imaging technology developed by Canfield Imaging Systems, the leading developer of photographic imaging solutions for the medical and skin care industries, to visualize sun damage and encourage people to form sun-safe habits. The campaign plans to station the Canfield camera at locations around the country so people can see for themselves the damage the sun has already caused to their skins and learn how they can mitigate further harm.
Based on decades of scientific research, the campaign concludes that the best defenses against harmful ultraviolet radiation are protective clothing, shade, timing and safer and more effective sunscreens. Below is a quick summary of sun protection tips from EWG, for more information—including how to pick a good sunscreen—check out the campaign's website:
- Not All Sunscreens Are Equal: Choose the safest, most effective sunblock products by consulting EWG's online guide to sunscreens.
- Regular Skin Checks: for new moles that are tender or growing. Ask your primary care doctor how often you should see a dermatologist.
- Don't Get Burned: Red, sore, blistered or peeling skin means far too much sun—and raises your skin cancer risk.
- Wear Clothes: Shirts, hats, shorts and pants provide the best protection from UV rays—and they don't coat your skin with goop.
- Find Shade—or Make It: Picnic under a tree, read beneath an umbrella, take a canopy to the beach. Keep infants in the shade—they lack the tanning pigments known as melanin to protect their skin.
- Plan Around the Sun: Go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is lower. UV radiation peaks at midday.
- Sunglasses Aren't Just a Fashion Accessory: Good shades protect your eyes from UV radiation that causes cataracts.
The Sun Safety campagin was launched jointly with leading dermatologists and 16 sunscreen makers, including: EWG, All Terrain, Aubrey, Ava Anderson Non Toxic, Babo Botanicals, Babytime! by Episencial, Badger, Beauty Counter, California Baby, Elemental Herbs, Goddess Garden Organics, Juice Beauty, Marie Veronique Organics, MD Solar Sciences, MyChelle Dermaceuticals, Raw Elements, Thinkbaby/ Thinksport and True Natural.
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Cabin fever is often associated with being cooped up on a rainy weekend or stuck inside during a winter blizzard.
In reality, though, it can actually occur anytime you feel isolated or disconnected from the outside world.
What is cabin fever?<p>In popular expressions, cabin fever is used to explain feeling bored or listless because you've been stuck inside for a few hours or days. But that's not the reality of the symptoms.</p><p>Instead, cabin fever is a series of negative emotions and distressing sensations people may face if they're isolated or feeling cut off from the world.</p><p>These feelings of isolation and loneliness are more likely in times of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/yes-covid-19-cases-are-rising-why-you-still-need-to-practice-social-distancing" target="_blank">social distancing</a>, self-quarantining during a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-pandemic" target="_blank">pandemic</a>, or sheltering in place because of severe weather.</p><p>Indeed, cabin fever can lead to a series of symptoms that can be difficult to manage without proper coping techniques.</p><p>Cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological disorder, but that doesn't mean the feelings aren't real. The distress is very real. It can make fulfilling the requirements of everyday life difficult.</p>
What are the symptoms?<p>Symptoms of cabin fever go far beyond feeling bored or "stuck" at home. They're rooted in an intense feeling of isolation and may include:</p><ul><li>restlessness</li><li>decreased motivation</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irritability" target="_blank">irritability</a></li><li>hopelessness</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/unable-to-concentrate" target="_blank">difficulty concentrating</a></li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irregular-sleep-wake-syndrome" target="_blank">irregular sleep patterns</a>, including sleepiness or sleeplessness</li><li>difficulty waking up</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/lethargy" target="_blank">lethargy</a></li><li>distrust of people around you</li><li>lack of patience</li><li>persistent <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/depression-vs-sadness" target="_blank">sadness or depression<br></a></li></ul>
What can help you cope with cabin fever?<p>Because cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological condition, there's no standard "treatment." However, mental health professionals do recognize that the symptoms are very real.</p><p>The coping mechanism that works best for you will have a lot to do with your personal situation and the reason you're secluded in the first place.</p><p>Finding meaningful ways to engage your brain and occupy your time can help alleviate the distress and irritability that cabin fever brings.</p><p>The following ideas are a good place to start.</p>
When to get help<p>Cabin fever is often a fleeting feeling. You may feel irritable or frustrated for a few hours, but having a virtual chat with a friend or finding a task to distract your mind may help erase the frustrations you felt earlier.</p><p>Sometimes, however, the feelings may grow stronger, and no coping mechanisms may be able to successfully help you eliminate your feelings of isolation, sadness, or depression.</p><p>What's more, if your time indoors is prolonged by outside forces, like weather or extended shelter-in-place orders from your local government, feelings of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety" target="_blank">anxiety</a> and fear are valid.</p><p>In fact, anxiety may be at the root of some cabin fever symptoms. This may make symptoms worse.</p><p>If you feel that your symptoms are getting worse, consider reaching out to a mental health professional who can help you understand what you're experiencing. Together, you can identify ways to overcome the feelings and anxiety.</p><p>Of course, if you're in isolation or practicing social distancing, you'll need to look for alternative means for seeing a mental health expert.</p><p>Telehealth options may be available to connect you with your therapist if you already have one. If you don't, reach out to your doctor for recommendations about mental health specialists who can connect with you online.</p><p>If you don't want to talk to a therapist, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/top-iphone-android-apps" target="_blank">smartphone apps for depression</a> may provide a complementary option for addressing your cabin fever symptoms.</p>
The bottom line<p>Isolation isn't a natural state for many people. We are, for the most part, social animals. We enjoy each other's company. That's what can make staying at home for extended periods of time difficult.</p><p>However, whether you're sheltering at home to avoid dangerous weather conditions or heeding the guidelines to help minimize the spread of a disease, staying at home is often an important thing we must do for ourselves and our communities.</p><p>If and when it's necessary, finding ways to engage your brain and occupy your time may help bat back cabin fever and the feelings of isolation and restlessness that often accompany it.</p>
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