Friday, May 28, 2010

Red Pill Reality Dispelling Blue Pill Delusions: Sunscreen

An installment in a series: Red Pill Reality Dispelling Blue Pill Delusions

Living in Hawaii, I frequently engage in activities and attend social events and functions that involve being outdoors in the bright sunshine for an extended period of time. Surfing, skin diving, hiking, fishing and hunting are all recreational activities I do on a regular basis that have me exposed to the sun for hours.

I guess I should be worried, eh?

Afterall, "everyone knows" that sun exposure leads to skin cancer!

Our local TV Newscasts frequently urge the viewers when doing weather reports, "Don't forget the sunscreen today! It's gonna be a hot one!"

We frequently are bombarded by media admonitions and reminders to always "cover up" with wide-brimmed hats and scarves, and to slather on the sunscreen whenever we go to the beach or any kind of daytime outdoor event or festival. If we do want to do any kind of outdoor activity, we should also consider only doing it in the early morning and late afternoon, to avoid the suns damaging rays when they are at their strongest.

It's almost like our mass media considers we the sheeple to be a variant form of vampire...

TAKE THE BLUE PILL: Avoid the sun as much as possible, or you'll die of skin cancer!

For the fear of skin cancer -- the least fatal and easiest to treat of all cancers -- many people are endangering their health by developing vitamin D deficiencies because they follow the narrative of our mass media and public health "experts" over-hyping and exaggerating the dangers of sun exposure.

Note the recommendations of the American Cancer Society on how to avoid skin cancer:

The best ways to lower the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer are to avoid intense sunlight for long periods of time and to practice sun safety. You can continue to exercise and enjoy the outdoors while practicing sun safety at the same time. Here are some ways you can do this:
  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Seek shade: Look for shade, especially in the middle of the day when the sun's rays are strongest. Practice the shadow rule and teach it to children. If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
  • Slip on a shirt: Cover up with protective clothing to guard as much skin as possible when you are out in the sun. Choose comfortable clothes made of tightly woven fabrics that you cannot see through when held up to a light.
  • Slop on sunscreen: Use sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen (about a palmful) and reapply after swimming, toweling dry, or perspiring. Use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days.
  • Slap on a hat: Cover your head with a wide-brimmed hat, shading your face, ears, and neck. If you choose a baseball cap, remember to protect your ears and neck with sunscreen.
  • Wrap on sunglasses: Wear sunglasses with 99% to 100% UV absorption to provide optimal protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin.
  • Follow these practices to protect your skin even on cloudy or overcast days. UV rays travel through clouds.
  • Avoid other sources of UV light. Tanning beds and sun lamps are dangerous because they can damage your skin.
Note the catchphrase here:  practice sun safety.

Sounds awfully familiar, eh? 

The actual science is revealing a completely different paradigm when it comes to sunscreen and sun exposure.

From the Washington Post article, for which I got the illustration at the top:

Sunlight is crucial to the body's natural production of Vitamin D, but exposure to ultraviolet-B light has been greatly reduced through use of sunscreens and spending more time indoors for work and play, especially in northern latitudes. Some scientists say a deficiency in the nutrient may contribute to many diseases.

Even *MSNBC reported on sunscreens role in preventing your body from producing Vitamin D from sun exposure:

We looked at individuals that always wore a sunscreen before they went outside. ... And we found that, indeed at the end of the summer, they were deficient in vitamin D," says Holick. "And so we have shown over and over again that adults, even if they're on a multivitamin, and drinking milk, if they always wear sun protection, or avoid any direct sun exposure, they're at high risk of developing vitamin D deficiency.

*Just a quick note: many times corporate media like MSNBC will publish articles contrary to the conventional wisdom.  By mixing in the truth with all of the propaganda and lies, it simply sows confusion and cognitive dissonance in the casual media consumer. However, the overriding narrative of deception still saturates their coverage.

So what does this all mean? First of all, a simple observation. If you have pets that have access to the sunshine...or you live in an area with abundant wildlife, or if you go to your nearest Zoo in the middle of the daytime (don't forget to cover up and use sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15!), you will notice something about nearly all animal species: they all take time to bask in the sun.

Humans (We the Sheeple) are the only one that puts a chemical substance on our skins to "protect" us from the suns rays. Just think about that for a moment.

The Sun is the source of all life on this planet. Our bodies were either designed, or evolved (whatever you believe), to get the majority of the vitamin D that we need from our sun exposure.

The problem is not sun's sun over-exposure. Repeated sunburns can definitely lead to skin cancer when you get older (my grandparents have both had melanoma's removed when they were in their 70's).

But you shouldn't rhetorically cut your nose to spite your face...which is what following the conventional wisdom inevitably leads to! If you ALWAYS slap on the sunscreen before going out in the sun, and you never get any natural, uninhibited UV exposure, you are in danger of developing chronic vitamin D deficiency - which could give much worse cancers down the road.

In short, like animals that bask in the sun, pay attention to your body's signals. Bask in the sun with minimal covering and no sunscreen until you start to feel a little too hot...THAN head for the shade or cover up and/or use the sunscreen. (Personally, I quit using sunscreen altogether after reading articles like these...I simply cover up with clothes/hats or head for the shade after getting enough sun.)

Depending on the complexion of your skin, you have a variable amount of time to sun bathe for which your body produces all the Vitamin D that you need before you start to get over-exposed and at risk for sunburn. Figure out what amount of time is optimal for you and your complexion. You'll quickly figure it out if you pay attention to how your feeling.

It may even be worth it to get a mild sunburn just to find out where your threshold is.

If you review the reporting from most media and sources like the American Cancer Society, their recommendations are all uniform: avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day, and always use sunscreen whenever you do go out into the sun.

Paradoxically, it's when the sun is at it's zenith in the sky in which it is easiest to get the proper angle of exposure to maximize your vitamin D production in your skin!  Talk about blue pill delusions...

TAKE THE RED PILL: Regularly sun bathing at high noon for 10 - 20 minutes without sunscreen may be one of the best ways to prevent all forms of cancer!

Ruminating on this topic starts to make me wonder: how much money has the manufacturers of sunscreen given to the American Cancer Society to promote incessant use of it's products like this? See, this statement may make you think of popular sunscreen brands...but I highly doubt they'd be so transparent and open about their interest. Nah, while I haven't looked into it, I'll take a wild guess that the parent chemical companies that manufacturer the basic chemicals that go into all the brands of sunscreen probably have something to do with the financing of non-profit PSA's and journalist articles promoting the "always use sunscreen and avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day" mentality. Of course, I could be even more cynical with my speculations...

...since understanding how much Vitamin D deficiency plays in causing so many other types of cancer...and noting that the cancer treatment industry based on chemotherapy is highly profitable...

...I'm sure you get the picture.


Hestia said...

As a true translucent redhead, I have to wonder what a mild sunburn is. :P

Kidding aside, this post is right-on. I used to work for a company that markets some of the "best" and most costly sun care products on the market. Reading the ingredient list was like reading the recipe for toxin laden waste compelling me to speculate that the sunscreens themselves contribute to cancer.

There are some people who do legitimately need to avoid the sun and attain vit d supplementation from other sources. People who suffer with lupus come to mind as the illness is aggravated by the heat and sun of summer. My poor sister has lupus and winds up requiring pain killer ever time she's been out for more than ten minutes during off-peak summer hours. Poor girl. :( For the rest of us, however, we'd do well to heed your advice.

Wide brim sunhats and sipping drinks in the shade are still lovely ways to pass the day. Let us hope such pleasant bits of summer never go out of style. It does seem as if the sunhat has gone the way of the dinosaur though, as displayed so well by the raves I receive from people when I'm out about in my pretty hat and pearls throughout the summer months. All women need a pretty summer hat to go with the sundresses!

Keoni Galt said...

Wide brim sunhats and sipping drinks in the shade are still lovely ways to pass the day.

Oh absolutely. Same goes for a day at the beach here in Hawaii. We'll often BBQ and have some drinks...but we'll set up a canopy at the beach, and after getting enough sunbathing without burning, and some swimming, will spend the majority of the time relaxing in the shade.

I've only used sunscreen once in the past three years...and haven't had a sunburn the entire time. I just pay attention to how long I've been in the sun, and than put shirt/hat on and head for the shade.

Double Minded Man said...

I use sunscreen on a few areas when I know I will be out for a while, but otherwise I don't see a point to it. And I say that as someone who burns all too easily, tho I am not a redhead myself.

I am, however, in the northern climes and it is important to supplement as we don't see the sun enough. And during the winter the sun is at such an angle that even in full sun not enough rays get to the skin to make sufficient vitamin D, and that is from the people telling us that we only need a few minutes a day on our hands and face, which always sounded like bunkum to me. In the Seattle area we are now being told that we should supplement with 2000-8000 units a day as opposed to the 400 recommended in the USRDA. I'm cool with the 2000, tho not too sure about that upper limit myself. I'll wait and see where the science goes before jumping so fully on that supplementation bandwagon

Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life said...

Very interesting stuff. I tend not wear sunscreen all that much in America, but in New Zealand you will fry thanks to the hole in the ozone layer, so sunscreen is more important.

Hughman said...

Athol, the ozone hole is patching up. Something they forget to tell you after the CFC panic of the 90s.

On my course we critically analysed if sun exposure leads to skin cancers.

From my own conclusions, the amount of skin cancer diagnoses is going up mainly because doctors can be bothered to biopsy any mole that looks dodgy (where before, they simply removed it), which picks up Stage 1 cancers.

Chronic exposure can lead to an increase in 'rodent ulcers' (basal cell carcinomas, not terribly lethal), whilst having multiple acute sunburns in childhood can increase your risk as well.

With regard to vitamin D from sun exposure, most people need 15 minutes of ('unprotected') sun exposure a day, although diet makes up partially for this (especially in the winter)

And sun cream does have its uses. If I'm holiday, I want to be in the sun all day. Not going to happen without some cream (trust me, I've tried without it. Putting on FPS 5 to 10 means I can stay out all day, rather than an hour or two)

Default User said...

I am not sure if this is accurate, but it will estimate your needed exposure times depending on location (or latitude/longitude)

Anonymous said...

Many people on a high-fat, low-carb diet notice that they don't get sunburn and tan much faster, myself included. Just another piece of the puzzle.

eumaios said...

Do you have any thoughts/resources on topical bug repellents?

grerp said...

I skip the sunscreen 99% of the time, and I have really fair skin and do burn. But I know I can do about 20 minutes in the sun without burning - so I just time myself and then head for the shade. At the beach, I do use sunscreen because I don't go often and so am there longer when we do go.

One thing I've noticed is that no matter how long I'm in the sun my calves never burn. The backs, at the knees will, but the shins and up - I could lay out all day, and they won't get anything. I have no idea why this is.

In any case, I've had the same bottle of sunscreen for about 5 years now, and it's about used up. I'm not the sunscreen industry's best customer.

Rob said...

I'm a true blond haired, blue eyed, fair skinned boy... and I never use sunscreen.

In fact, I need to burn a bit in the beginning of the summer, and then my skin takes right over and I can walk around 75%-100% naked for the rest of the summer, (never allow your pee-pee to get burned, doh!) and hot damn do us blond haired, blue eyed devils look charming with deeply tanned skin. I'll never burn again for the rest of the summer after a bit of initial burn.

I completely agree that we coddle ourselves into illness by hiding from nature - ie. Sunscreen.

About a decade ago, when I started learning to fly, I took to wearing sunglasses while in the cockpit... and it stuck with me and I began wearing sunglasses way more often than I should have.

Today, I am trying to wean myself off of sunglasses. But it is hard. Now, even on overcast days but where the clouds are bright, instead of dark, as soon as I step outside or drive my car, even bright clouds strain my eyes, and I crave my shades... in sunlight it is almost unbearable to be without sunglasses, and yet I remember going for 30 years without hardly ever wearing shades, and never experienced eye strain.

Hopefully I can get my eyeballs back to normal where I don't feel like dracula without them.

I know - kinda off topic, but not really.

All of this protective shit harms us in ways we might not realize until later.

Hughman said...

On mollycoddling ourselves into illness, it's theorised that rates of autoimmune type illnesses, such as asthma, excema, anaphylactic shock, intolerances to foods, is because babies are over-protected.

There's even good data to show that the increase in myopathy (short-sightedness) is because kids play outside less, year on year.

njartist said...

Curious. You post this on May 28th and this is posted on a Christian site May 30th:

John McTernan's Insights: On Omega3 and Vitamin D3

njartist said...

Same source as above:
"The benefits of Omega-3 oils rival that of Vitamin D. Omega oils are needed for the brain to function properly. Many of the degenerative brain problems could be eliminated by taking these oils. There is a direct connection with the Omega-3s and brain function and health. I believe these oils can help people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and all sorts of mental related problems. There are no side effects from the Omega-3s so it cannot hurt for anyone with a brain disorder to take them. If you are depressed, trying taking Omega-3s, it might prove to greatly help you. The best way to look at the Omega-3s and the brain is to compare it with oil for an engine. Without oil, and engine ceases and stops. Without the Omega-3s the brain “ceases” and stops functioning.

The Omega-3s are wonderful for the blood and for keeping cholesterol low and balanced. These oils protect the heart and circulatory system from plaque build up. You must take the Omega-3s for your heart’s health. Pregnant women need the Omega-3s for a both her health and the baby’s.

Col. Corbane said...

Just passing through on a blog wander and thought I'd comment.

My uncle is a professor of dermatology who's spent a considerable amount of time researching skin cancers. One of the things he mentioned is that we've only had skin cancers since we've had sun cream.

If you look back at photos of farm workers pre sun cream, there's no actual sign of skin lesions and these were people who spent their entire lives in the sun.

Makes you wonder what all those chemicals people rub into their skin do when they're warmed up by the sun. None of our family use sun cream anymore.

Rob said...

Col. Corbane.

If you look at total cancer stats,
back in 1900, only 1 in 20 people in their life got cancer (5%).

Today, 1 in 2 men (50%) and 1 in 3 women (33%) get cancer. Coming to a toal of around 40%, which is 8 times higher in one century!

Of course, 65% of funding for cancer resarch goes to females. Go figure, this equality!

Bhetti said...

Anonymous said...

Hey Brudda, Supreme Pundit here. You and I share many views. Check out my site for a ton of data on Vitamin D. Even full sun is often not enough.

Anonymous said...

I just tried the Vitamin D calculator at mentioned above. And got some interesting results.

My family and I are all "Pale Caucasians" and live in Northern New England. To get 1000IU/25 mcg of VitD today, we need to spend about 1 hour outside with our faces, hands, and arms exposed to the single digits (F) cold temperatures.

If it were July 17th instead, we could get our allotment in about 4 minutes.

Does anyone know if excess Vitimin D from the Summertime carries over to the Winter?

CaseyD said...

Cancerous lesions on the skin can quickly be removed by black salve (Cansema). You can diagnose yourself by simply applying it to questionable moles. If it is cancerous, it will be removed in a few days with a single application, if not the salve simply has no effect. The Mohs procedure is basically the same, except the MDs unnecessarily cut away the tissue surrounding it, and mark up the price by an order of magnitude.