Protect Your Skin this Summer

After what seemed like an endless winter many of us are eager to spend time outdoors, but before we step into the sunshine we need to protect ourselves.

It takes just fifteen minutes for the sun’s ultraviolet rays to burn our skin, but takes up to twelve hours for the full effects to be noticed. This summer vow to make sure everyone in your family is protected from the sun with the use of sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats and plenty of shade.

It’s not just hot, sunny days you need to worry about. UV rays can penetrate through the clouds so be sure to lather up with sunscreen anytime you plan to head outdoors.

Alarmingly, the rates of skin cancer are going up, particularly among young people. Earlier this month, doctors at Mayo Clinic reported a significant increase in melanoma cases among young adults and teenagers.

According to skincancer.org, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, occurring more frequently than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer incidences combined.

SKIN CANCER

  • Basal cell carcinoma – most common type of cancer that is highly curable

  • Squamous cell carcinoma – the second most common type of cancer that is highly curable

  • Melanoma – the third most common type of skin cancer that can be deadly

Anybody is susceptible to skin cancer, but some have a greater risk of obtaining it. Just one use of an indoor tanning bed increases your risk of developing melanoma by 20 percent!

RISK FACTORS

  • History of sunburns, skin that burns easily

  • Working in the sun

  • Fair skin, freckles, blonde or red hair, blue or green eyes

  • Family history of melanoma

  • Past history of skin cancer

  • Tanning bed use

You may think you look better with a little color, but did you know that tanned skin is damaged skin? Whether exposure to the sun gives you a burn or a tan, both are evidence of damage from harmful UV rays, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PROTECT YOURSELF

  • Try to avoid the sun during peak times when UV rays are strongest, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

  • Cover your skin with long sleeves and a wide-brimmed hat

  • Wear sunscreen with broad spectrum protection with a SPF of 15 or greater

  • Apply sunscreen liberally every two hours and after sweating or swimming

  • Wear sunglasses with 100 percent UVA/UVB protection

  • Avoid tanning beds, the artificial lights can produce stronger UV rays than the sun

It’s also important to monitor your moles, and get checked by a physician if you see something out of the ordinary. Although skin cancer is the most common cancer, it is also the easiest to cure if it is diagnosed and treated early. If not, it can lead to disfigurement and even death. Protect yourself and your family to prevent from becoming one of the two million diagnosed with the disease each year.



About the Author...
Liz Hayes
Liz loves spending time outdoors, working out, traveling, taking in the arts, reading and catching up on TV.
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