Students stay safe from the sun by using sunscreen

JOE SHLABOTNIK |Flicker Creative Commons


CODY DUKE | Scroll Illustration
CODY DUKE | Scroll Illustration

BYU-Idaho students’ use of sunscreen is at a low, according to a recent study by Scroll.

Of the 300 BYU-I students contacted door-to-door and on the street, six males and 28 females reported they use sunscreen daily, according to Scroll.

The study also found that 107 students, 67 male and 40 female, report they never use sunscreen.

Along with this study, 138 students, 71 male and 67 female, reported they only use sunscreen during recreational activities like swimming or outdoor sports.

The remaining 21 students surveyed report they use sunscreen anywhere from a couple times a week to a couple of times a month.

Sunscreen should be used whenever someone plans to go outside, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Even on a cloudy day, ultraviolet rays (UV) can penetrate the skin, according to American Academy of Dermatology.

Harrison Proulx, a sophomore studying theatre, said he recently discovered the misery a sunburn can bring after he and his roommates forgot to bring sunscreen while floating on a river.

“All of us just got fried,” Proulx said.

He said the sunburn was so severe that he could not leave his apartment or even lift up his arms for three days.

“It would have been worth it to take 10 minutes of my time to go grab the sunscreen, instead, three or four days of terrible, terrible pain,” Proulx said.

Sunscreen is not only meant to protect from aching sunburns, but more importantly, it adds protection against skin cancer, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Two million people of all skin colors are diagnosed with skin cancer yearly, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Suntanning, including the use of tanning beds, is responsible for at least 400,000 of the yearly skin cancer cases, according to the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

The recent Scroll study reported that 31 out of the 300 students surveyed regularly suntan, either by taking time to lay in the sun or by using a tanning bed.

The study also discovered 28 out of those 31 students who regularly suntan report they never use sunscreen, or they only use sunscreen during recreational activities.

Dillon Kohler, a sophomore studying communication, said suntanning is a way to enjoy the sun and feel the sun rays soaking into the skin.

“I feel happier when I am in the sun,” Kohler said. “I’ll take the heat any day.”

Hailee Gardner, a sophomore studying art, said feeling the sun on her skin makes her day better.

“When it was 120 degrees, I was in heaven,” Gardner said. “I hate the cold so much.”

Enjoying the warmth should come with precautions in order to avoid skin cancer. Sunscreen should be applied every day from about 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.,  according to the Cleveland Clinic.