Did you know that skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in the United States? Do you know if you are more at risk of getting skin cancer than the average person? Do you know the keys to skin cancer prevention? Healthcare professionals have known these things for years, but even those of us who spend our days in the hospital are not immune. Many doctors do not follow their own advice and they too end up with cases of skin cancer. Let’s avoid skin cancer from now on! Here are some risk factors and things to avoid in the battle to eradicate skin cancer!
- Tanning is the trend nowadays. It has been for a while, and it doesn’t seem to be fading away (pun intended). However, tanning uses Ultraviolet Radiation, also known as UVR, which is a known human carcinogen. In other words, the light that makes you tan, is the exact thing that can cause cancer.
- In fact, just one standard indoor tanning session increases your risk of getting skin cancer anywhere from 29 to 67 percent (the percentages for the two different types of skin cancer).
- We will say this again, and we will say it a thousand times. Stay away from tanning beds! A golden tan is not worth cancer and possible death!
Unprotected Sun Exposure
- Another oldie but goodie. We have said this for years too. Whenever your skin is exposed to the sun, that ultraviolet radiation we talked about in regards to tanning, is soaking into your skin. Now, don’t get us wrong being outdoors and in the sunlight is good. It is the best source of Vitamin D absorption for humans. But, you can’t go out in the sun unprotected without consequences similar to that of tanning. While sunlight is not concentrated like a tanning session, it can still be harmful. Always wear sunscreen! Winter, summer, spring, and fall. Wear sunscreen no matter what!
- Ladies, an added note for you. Many makeup products and daily moisturizers come with sun protection already in them. Look for products with an SPF rating and make protecting your skin a part of your daily routine!
- And gentlemen, moisturizer isn’t just for girls. Men’s moisturizers are available in stores too! Complete with SPF ratings. Invest in one and take care of your skin too!
Age Before Beauty
- The truth of the matter is, the more unprotected exposure you have to the sun and to the ultraviolet rays of tanning beds, the more you will age. Your skin will look older sooner and if you wait until you see the signs of aging you will have missed your golden opportunity to keep that youthful glow for longer.
- Did you know, for example, that the vast majority of a person’s sun exposure happens before they turn 18? That means that those of us who have kids should pay special attention to our kids. Make sure they always wear sunscreen to keep their skin healthy and protected!
- Cases of pediatric skin cancer are on the rise and most occur between the ages of 10 and 19, the ages when children have more and more autonomy and parents may not be as vigilant about the sunscreen rule! Also, many cases of pediatric skin cancer are diagnosed late because most of us don’t think our children will get skin cancer. Remain adamant about sunscreen and make sure your kids know how to stay safe!
These are just a few tips about skin cancer prevention. Just know that even one tanning session increases your risk of developing skin cancer by up to 67 percent! You are your best defense against developing skin cancer! Listen to the professionals and take care of yourself!