HealthyLife® Students' Self-Care Guide
Section II–Playing It Safe
The skin is your body’s largest organ. It protects your internal organs from environmental irritants, infections, and ultraviolet light; all of which can be harmful. Take good care of your skin so it can do its job. Keep your skin clean and protect it from injury. (See “ Skin Injuries ”)
Do you look forward to semester breaks so you can relax in the sun and get a tan? Many students do. A suntan looks good, but it is a sign that your skin is trying to protect itself from damage. Be especially careful not to get sunburned. In fact, you should never get sunburned! It can lead to premature aging, wrinkling of the skin, and skin cancer. (Be extra cautious if you have a family history of skin cancer.) Even if you are not concerned about these problems now, the pain and blisters that come with a severe sunburn can make spring break unbearable.
The risk for sunburn is increased for persons with fair skin, blue eyes, red or blond hair, and for persons taking some medicines. These include birth control pills; some antibiotics, such as tetracycline and sulfa drugs; and Benadryl, an over-the-counter antihistamine.
For Sun Safety - The Cancer Information Service
What You Need to Know About Web Site - Tattoos/Body Piercings • www.tattoo.about.com
©2005, 6th edition. American Institute for Preventive Medicine All rights reserved.
March 21, 2007