Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The House of Black and White

Memorial Day has passed, and thus summer has officially begun. If you're like me, that means you go through your bottles of sunscreen from last year to see if there's anything still in there. What is disappointing about this exercise is that I often have nearly full bottles of sunscreen (meaning that once again, I didn't get outside much!) and, also, that none of them have expiration dates. Yes, it turns out that  sunscreen DOES expire, usually within 3 years of date of purchase. Sunscreen manufacturers, however, are not required to date their products the way we've gotten used to other things being labeled. Some do anyway, and if you were lucky enough to buy one of those brands, good for you. Another smart move would be to just write the date you bought the stuff on it in marker. Guess which of those things I did? That's right--neither.

Now I could, as this helpful website describes, call up the manufacturer and read them a code printed on the bottle, so they could tell me if it was still viable. So there's that option. Or I could just admit defeat and go buy another bottle, and either make sure it has a date or write the date I bought it on it. Because if I ever DO get outside, I'm going to need it.

Hopefully, anybody knows that you have to protect your skin from the strong, harmful, UV rays of the sun. Sunburns are not just painful;  the damage they do to your skin increases your chances of skin cancer, AKA melanoma. Not the fun kind of cancer (okay, there is  no fun kind), melanoma is the bad, potentially-killing kind of cancer. 

Melanoma doesn't just strike ghosties like me, either. Although Caucasians get skin cancer (and die from it) at higher rates than other races, it's a myth that non-Caucasian people are immune to this disease. People of color are often diagnosed with skin cancer at later stages, when it is advanced and more potentially fatal, whereas most skin cancers are curable if caught and treated in a timely manner.

To illustrate, which of these Game of Thrones characters needs to apply sunscreen? 

Answer: all of them! 

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