Skin Cancer Can Happen To You This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As teenagers, many of us think that we are invincible and that major issues will not affect our lives personally, including everything from current topics in government to personal tragedies due to disease. Teens just don't believe that it will ever happen to them. Rather, it will happen to the other guy (or girl). Well, sorry, but to someone else, you are the other guy. That's right, you. But what many simply don't understand is that there are precautions, reasonable ones, that can be taken to prevent something like skin cancer from happening to you.

Suntan lotion is the way to go. Not baby oil or any other type of oil because all it does is attract the sun and its harmful effects, otherwise known as a tan or sometimes a sunburn. One thing I never could understand is that people actually sit in the sun and burn because after a few painful days it will turn into a tan. I mean, I have had a few horrible sunburns myself, but they happened accidentally. However, the more sunburns a person has (and the more severe they are), the more the risk for skin cancer increases later in life.

Besides these intentional burns, I do know certain skin types are prone to burns no matter how often lotion is applied. To these unlucky people, I would recommend staying away from direct exposure to sunlight, especially around midday, when the sun is strongest.

Did you know that health experts strongly urge everyone to wear sunscreen every day, all year long? A few of my friends don't ever use any lotion, and I can't even name one person I know who wears it all the time. I think it's time to rethink how healthy a tan really looks. I mean, how could something which is supposed to represent a good and healthy image be so bad for us? Obviously, whoever thought of this concept didn't know the facts we know today. Hopefully, we'll be able to change this image so we can live longer and teach good health to our grandchildren. Remember, especially in the summer, use sunscreen with at least an SPF 8 (if not higher). It could save your life.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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