All types of skin cancer are a result of damage to the DNA of skin cells. Most often that damage is a direct result of exposure to ultraviolet radiation ( the sun and tanning beds). Some types of Skin Cancer are more dangerous than others but they should all be taken seriously. Skin cancer removed early is almost always treatable and therefore the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends taking charge of your own skin health with monthly examinations and at a minimum, yearly visits to your Dermatologist for a head to toe exam. The brochure above is a great resource to have on hand as you keep a close eye on your skin for changes and/or suspicious lesions. Click here to access this online and print out a copy for your closet or bathroom. Remember, out of site out of mind...so post this where you will see it regularly. It could save your life.
But it's not all about slapping on sunscreen in the morning and heading out the door. Here are the Prevention Guidelines posted by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
1. Seek the shade, especially between 10am and 4pm.
2. Do not Burn.
3. Cover up with clothing. Here is your chance to sport a wide brim hat and some cool UV blocking shades!
4. Use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF or 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. MYTH: Daily use of sunscreen causes vitamin D deficiency. TRUTH: there are no studies to support this and vitamin D can be obtained from dietary sources such as salmon, eggs, mild and orange juice.
5. Apply 1 ounce of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating. MYTH: You don't need sunscreen on cloudy days. TRUTH: Up to 40% of the sun's UV rays reach the earth on a completely cloudy day.
6. Keep newborns out of the sun.
7. Examine your skin head to toe every month.
8. See your physician every year for a professional skin exam. MYTH: This will be incorporated into my yearly physical. TRUTH: You will likely need to schedule an appointment with a physician that specializes in skin disorders. A dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
Just in case you need some more convincing here are just a few selected facts directly from the Skin cancer Prevention handbook.
- 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
- Your risk of developing melanoma ( this is the most dangerous and likely to be fatal) doubles if you have had more than five sunburns. I personally have had way more than 5 sunburns in my life.
- An estimated 90 % of skin aging is caused by the sun. Don't you wish you knew this when you were 20?
- People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75%. Is that tan really worth it?
All information for this blog was taken from the very informative Skin Cancer Foundation website. To read more detail, see pictures or donate to this foundation please visit www.skincancer.org
Did you read this article all the way to the bottom?? Good for you! Go back to the FB post and comment: I read the whole thing...or anything like that...to be entered into a drawing to win my favorite Natural ingredient sunscreen by Skin Scripts RX.