Prowl redhead urges those like her to cover up, use Sunscreen


Lucyjane Crimm

Prowl Associate Editor Lucyjane Crimm suffered serious sunburn in July 2020. Crimm has red hair.

Sunscreen, the one thing all redheads forget.

Yeah, I’m a redhead, and yeah, sometimes it takes a lot for me to remember to bring sunscreen. There are days I don’t think I need it, then all of a sudden I am burnt like bacon.

According to mdanderson.org, which focuses on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention, follow these three tips for using sunscreen:

  1. Apply your sunscreen either when you wake up, or before you leave the house. Keep it in a spot where it’s easy to remember to put it on. Your skin can take up about 30 minutes to absorb what you put on.
  2. If you are going on a trip to the beach or a lake, put the sunscreen in your bag the night before. This helps remember to put it on when you get to your destination and look through your bag.
  3. Use SPF 30. This is the magic number that helps protect your body from the sun. Reapply every couple of hours. Especially if you are swimming or sweating a good amount.

According to aad.org, which focuses on advances in the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair, and nails, follow these three tips if you do end up burning.

  1. Use moisturizers that contain aloe vera in it. It helps cool the face and soothes the burn.
  2. Drink more water. A sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking more water helps with dehydration when sunburnt.
  3. Take extra care to protect sunburned skin while it heals. By doing so, wear clothing that covers the skin when outside so you don’t get burnt more.

These tips should be helpful to all, but mostly redheads. Sunburns hurt, but by following these tips, you should be better in no time.

At a recent track meet, I didn’t use Sunscreen because I didn’t think it was needed (it was supposed to be cold). I sat at the finish line at the Cody track all day, and the sun was out for about one-third of the time. Guess what? I burned.

But why? Obviously I didn’t use Sunscreen. But also — it’s genetic. According to the dermatology website apderm.com,  “Redheads make up 1 to 2 percent of the world’s population, but they comprise 16 percent of the world’s melanoma patients. Redheads are likely to have Celtic, Scandinavian, or Irish ancestry. An estimated 10 percent of Irish people are redheads and have the ginger gene.”

Additionally, apderm.com reports the following risk factors have been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer:

  • Pale skin that doesn’t tan
  • A family or personal history of skin cancer
  • Frequent or severe sunburns or skin that burns easily
  • Numerous freckles, especially that develop after sun exposure
  • Five or more atypical moles
  • Sun spots or age spots
  • Light eyes
  • Red or light hair
  • High sun exposure, especially that routinely results in sunburn
  • Older age
  • Weaker immune system


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