SAVE YOUR SKIN

Best Practices to Take Care of Your Skin in the Summer

 

A radiant, fresh, dewy complexion can take away 5-10-even 20 years from the appearance of aging.  Healthy skin also communicates early indications of many diseases, allergies, and in the case of certain cancers like melanoma – paying attention to what your skin is saying can save your life!

JUST THE FACTS:

  • Melanoma (also known as skin cancer) is one of the most common forms of cancer.
  • More people will develop skin cancer in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.
  • Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the world.
  • 1 in 50 Americans will develop melanoma in their lifetime.
  • One person in the U.S. is diagnosed with melanoma every 8 minutes.
  • More than 7,000 people in America will die of melanoma this year.
  • Melanoma is completely treatable!

So, if melanoma is completely treatable, how is it so many people die from the disease?  Melanoma spreads very quickly. Sadly, in too many cases, by the time a person is diagnosed the cancer has progressed and it becomes difficult — if not impossible—to treat.  Early detection and immediate treatment are critical factors in a cure.

Certain risk factors make a person more susceptible to melanoma.  Individuals with a fair complexion, and those with blue or green eyes are considered at a higher risk for the disease.  A family history of melanoma is also a consideration. People who suffered severed more than 5 severe sunburns and those who used a tanning bed 10 times or more before the age of 30 are considered at a higher risk for skin cancer.

THE PRICE OF A TAN

The majority of skin cancer is caused by exposure to the sun and ultraviolet radiation.  UV rays from tanning beds are 3 times stronger than radiation delivered by the sun. The ultraviolet rats from tanning beds penetrate deep into the skin’s layers.  In addition to being more dangerous, tanning beds damage the epidermis and causes premature aging and wrinkles.

Tanning beds are classified as a Class II Human Carcinogen (moderate to high risk) by the U.S. Food and Drug Association. In the United States, more than 400,000 cases of skin cancer are directly attributed to the use of indoor tanning beds each year.

We recognize the accelerated aging effects of exposure to the sun.  It is estimated that as much as 90% of skin damage is caused by the sun.  People who limit exposure to the sun and who use sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher daily, experience 24% less skin damage than individuals who never use sun-protection.

Melanoma does not discriminate by age, race, or gender.  It can appear anywhere on the body; eyes, feet, hands, scalp, mouth, etc.  Anyone, at any age can develop skin cancer.

ABCDE’s

As with all disease prevention is the best goal.  Early detection can mean the difference between life and death.  Watch for lesions that bleed, itch, or won’t heal. Most skin cancers develop first in moles. Use the following physician developed grid to routinely self-exam your body.

 

  • Asymmetry – draw a line through a mole, if both sides fail to match it is a warning sign of skin cancer.
  • Borders – uneven borders of a mole may indicate melanoma.
  • Color – benign moles have one consistent color. Light and dark shades shadows, or different colors within one mole may be a sign of cancer.
  • Diameter – a mole located anywhere on the body should be smaller than the eraser end of a pencil (less than 6 millimeters).
  • Evolution – any change in moles should be examine by a physician.

 

Working diligently to preserve, protect, and enhance the overall health of your skin is a lifelong mission.  While striving for that youthful glow, remember to listen to your skin’s messaging – especially the warning signs of melanoma.

For more information about all types of skin cancer visit

www.skincancer.org

www.dosomething.org

www.melanoma.org