Skin cancer is reaching epidemic levels. Each year, more cases of skin cancer are reported than of breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer combined! Luckily, skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers.
There are two ways to actively fight skin cancer:
1. Be very careful about your exposure to the sun.
2. Be vigilant about early detection.
Limiting Sun Exposure to Prevent Skin Cancer
Whenever you are out in the sun, you are exposing your skin to it.
“Any time your skin changes color from the skin, you are increasing your chances of a related ailment.”
- Always use sun screen before going out in the sun, at least 30 minutes prior if possible. Use an SPF of 30 at a minimum that protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Apply often, at least every 2 hours, or immediately following excessive sweating or swimming.
- Avoid the peak hours for the sun, generally from 10A – 4P.
- To protect your eyes, wear UV blocking sun glasses.
- Cover up! Wear light weight clothes to have a layer of clothing between your skin and the sun. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck.
A Few Words About Tanning
Most people love the look of tanned skin. REMEMBER: Tanning is a sign that sun damage has occurred. It is triggered by exposure to both UVA and UVB light.
When skin is exposed to UVA radiation (the rays that cause a tan), sun damage is caused. The UV radiation triggers certain cells called melanocytes to produce more melanin pigment, which tries to protect your cells from further damage by absorbing UV radiation from the sun. As your skin gets darker, it is a sign that damage has already occurred. Additionally, as skin darkens, it increases the risk of mutations which can lead to skin cancer. If you love the look of a tan, consider the use of a self-tanner.
When detected early, skin cancer has a 98% survival rate, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS). Here are some important facts as to why early detection is so important:
- One American dies of melanoma almost every hour.
- The five-year survival rate for melanoma detected at all stages increased from 82 percent between 1975 and 1977 to 92 percent between 1996 and 2002.
- More than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths are from melanoma.
- The five year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads is 99 percent
Neutrogena has partnered with the ASDS to provide a free downloadable early detection kit. You can access it here: Get My Skin Self Exam Journal.
At Abloom, we offer several aesthetic treatments to help with your skin recover from sun damage, including:
We offer free consultations at Abloom to discover which treatments might help with your skin damage. We also offer skin cancer screenings at West Valley Internal Medicine and West Valley Urgent Care as well.