May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so let’s review some facts from skincancer.org:
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime
- In the last 30 years, more people have been diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined
- Basal Cell Carcinoma, or BCC is the most commonly diagnosed skin cancer
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma, or SCC is the second most common and it is on the rise, increasing 200% over the last three decades
- 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are a result of UV radiation from the sun
- One person dies of melanoma every hour
- One in fifty men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma in their lifetime
- The risk of melanoma is increased for those who have had more than 5 sunburns in their lifetime. If those sunburns occurred during youth, the risk increases by 80%
- Ultraviolet radiation is a proven human carcinogen
- In 2014, the FDA reclassified UV tanning devices, changing them from low to moderate risk to moderate to high risk
- As of 2014, eleven states and eleven countries had prohibited indoor tanning for minors
- Some countries have even completely banned indoor tanning altogether
- More cases of skin cancer result from tanning than cases of lung cancer result from smoking
- Just one indoor tanning session increases the risk of melanoma by 20%
- Daily use of a skincare product with SPF 15 or higher can reduce the risk of developing SCC by 40% and melanoma by 50%
Any time your skin experiences a change in color after exposure to the sun, or artificial sunlight devices, that change indicates damage. As nice as we think a summer tan can look, it is actually unhealthy. If you really feel you cannot live without a little extra color, try a spray tan or a sunless tanner. Image Skincare has a great body bronzing crème from their Body Spa line and you can get it here at TimeLess.
Even if you are not planning to be outdoors, it is healthy skincare practice to use products with SPF daily. Make sure your morning moisturizer and makeup contain at least SPF 15 or higher.
When planning to be outdoors for prolonged periods of time, plan ahead. Slather on the SPF and bring the sun block with you to reapply every two hours. Try to wear a hat and sunglasses for protection, too.
As you get older, it is important to know the warning signs for skin cancer. Do regular body checks and pay attention to size and color changes in moles. Start seeing a dermatologist yearly to get checked.