The REAL key to avoiding melanoma… GET MORE SUN!

The REAL key to avoiding melanoma... GET MORE SUN!

You don’t need sunscreen when you head outside--but you might need a set?of earplugs. Soak up a little sun, and it won’t be five minutes before some know-it-all comes along and delivers a lecture on the supposed evils of UV exposure.

Well, let me tell you something about those know-it-alls: They don’t know jack!

The sun is ESSENTIAL to life on this planet, and it’s specifically crucial for you. You need it for your heart, you need it for your mood and you need it to make essential vitamin D.

I can write all day that sunlight is necessary and not dangerous, but I’m fighting decades of propaganda from the skin “care” industry. They have a marketing budget bigger than the GDP of some nations, and I can’t compete with that.

The one thing I do have in my corner, however, is SCIENCE--and that’s where they can’t compete with me, because the research is clear as day:

Sunlight isn’t the main cause of melanoma!

One new study proves it yet again, showing how the deadly form of skin cancer has zip to do with the sun and everything to do with what you’re born with.

Researchers bred mice to be prone to melanoma. Half were also redheads, with plenty of pheomelanin, the pigment responsible for red hair and pale skin in humans.

Half of the redheaded mice went on to develop melanoma, compared to just?10 percent of the non-redheaded mice. Ready for the most important part? These mice were exposed to NO ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT AT ALL.

The pheomelanin pigment itself appears to pull antioxidants out of the skin so that it can’t repair itself properly when necessary.

So, clearly, if you have fair skin--and especially if you have red hair--you want to up your antioxidant game to protect yourself against this potentially deadly form of cancer.

That’s my conclusion, however. The researchers behind the study, on the other hand, concluded that people--especially redheads--should still avoid sunlight.

PUH-leaze! These mice weren’t exposed to a beam of sunlight and still got the disease--so if that’s not a sure sign they’re barking up the wrong tree with this sun business, I don’t know what is.

Besides, this is hardly the first or only study to find the sun isn’t the main cause of melanoma. One study a few years back found that the number of moles you have on your skin is the strongest risk factor for melanoma.

Not the sun--moles. And while sun can cause some moles, most are genetic and will develop regardless of how much (or how little) time you spend exposed to UV light.

Another recent study found that melanoma in children--once unheard of--has been steadily on the rise since the early 1970s. Yes, folks, that’s precisely when parents started to cover their kids in sunscreens (and when millions of kids stopped going outside at all in favor of television, TV games and--eventually--computers).

Not enough evidence for you? A study out of Australia a few years back found that office workers are more likely to get melanoma than lifeguards. If sun causes cancer, how could that possibly be?

But if you want a real jaw-dropper, you don’t have to go all the way to Australia. You don’t even need to decipher the scientific gobbledegook in a medical journal, whether it’s about mice or children.

All you need to do is take a look at the Web site of the CDC, which has a map of melanoma incidence here in the United States, right now.

It shows in black and white that states with the highest melanoma rates have some of the lowest sun levels--including New Hampshire, Minnesota and Connecticut. Meanwhile, some of the lowest incidences are found in sunny states such as Texas, Arizona and Nevada.

In other words...

You’re more likely to get melanoma in Minneapolis?than in Phoenix!

So stop blaming the sun and start focusing on the REAL risk factors for skin cancer, especially deadly melanomas. You can’t do anything about fair skin or the number of moles you have, but you CAN do something about the other major risk factors, including exposure to industrial chemicals, radiation (including radiation from medical tests), CFL light bulbs, and even sunscreen.

Yes, sunscreen--the very stuff you’ve been told will protect you from skin cancer can actually CAUSE it.

Many sunscreens contain retinyl palmitate. It’s a form of a vitamin A, but not a good one--at least not when you slather it all over you skin and step outside. U.S. government studies have found that retinyl palmitate can actually supercharge skin tumors so they grow faster--ESPECIALLY when exposed to ultraviolet right.

You couldn’t find a worse ingredient for a sunscreen if you tried!

Some companies are dropping retinyl palmitate like a hot potato, but it’s still in plenty of sunscreens and skin creams. And, truth be told, even without this ingredient sunscreen is a cocktail of known carcinogens, hormone-disrupting chemicals, and poorly understood nanoparticles.

So forget sunscreen--you need MORE sun, not less. There’s only one rule you need to follow, and that’s to seek shade or shelter before you burn.

Well... that, and don’t forget your earplugs. You’ll need ‘em when the inevitable know-it-all shows up to deliver his lecture.