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Skin Cancer Awareness – Facts and Prevention

by kelly / May, 3 2017 01:30

Picture of woman sitting on a beach

Prevention is always much easier and less expensive to deal with than treatment. So in honor of May being skin cancer awareness month – here are some facts and tips from the Skin Cancer Foundation to help prevent skin cancer (and think about as you head to the beach this summer). Fortunately, according to the foundation skin cancer is highly preventable and treatable if detected early.

The Ugly Truth About Skin Cancer

It’s not pretty. Skin cancer affects more people than you think. The figures are difficult to digest but I think important to know as I believe awareness helps with prevention.

  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime
  • 1 person dies of melanoma every hour
  • Nearly 50% of Americans who live to age 65 will have skin cancer at least once

Unfortunately your risk of skin cancer increases with the following habits:

  • Your risk for developing melanoma doubles if you have more than five sunburns
  • People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75%

Fortunately you can prevent sunburns and avoid tanning beds. Plus if you use a broad spectrum SPF 15 or higher sunscreen regularly everyday it reduces your risk of melanoma by 50%. I need to shout this stat from the rooftop! It’s not just because I run a sunscreen company that I believe everyone should wear sunscreen – it’s actually vital to your skin’s health. Ok I’m down from the roof now ☺.

10 Easy Ways to Protect Your Skin from Cancer

There are simple ways you can protect your skin and prevent skin damage. They are not hard to do and will provide a lifetime of benefits.

  1. Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day
  2. Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside
  3. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating
  4. Keep babies under six months out of the sun
  5. Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
  6. Do not burn
  7. Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths
  8. Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses
  9. Examine your skin head-to-toe every month. Have your partner help you check
  10. See your physician every year for a professional skin exam

Suncare Smarts

I hope this post provided you with helpful info and gets you thinking about good sun protection habits everyday. Just remember – prevention is key.

For even more sun protection tips check out our Suncare Smarts and skin care Education series.

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