ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Skin cancer is the deadliest but also one of the most preventable and treatable cancers if caught early. But what you don’t know could kill you!
For instance, did you know your sunscreen should read broad spectrum to protect you against UVA and UVB rays? Did you know your sunscreen should be at least SPF of 30? Did you know spray on sunscreens are not all that effective? In fact, FDA regulations don’t apply to the spray on sunscreens.
“More people have more leisure time, they wear less amount of clothing, they tend to get sunburned,” Philip Bailin MD, director of Pigmented Lesion Clinic at the Cleveland Clinic, told Ivanhoe.
UV rays are linked to 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers. You can encounter these harmful rays outdoors in the sun, driving in a car on a sunny day, or even lying in a tanning bed.
“I can’t tell you how many young women I’ve had come in with melanoma or more than one melanoma who have been victims of the suntan salon trend,” Sancy Leachman, MD, PhD, a professor of dermatology at Oregon Health & Science University, said.
In fact, using a tanning bed before age 30 increases your melanoma risk by 75 percent. And even though skin cancer affects people with fair or lighter skin more often, those with darker skin can still be at a greater risk since the skin cancer can go undetected until it gets to advanced stages.
So, to protect yourself minimize your exposure to sunlight and tanning beds, apply sunscreen every two hours you are outdoors, and schedule an annual checkup with a dermatologist to monitor any suspicious looking moles.
Also, did you know manufacturers can no longer claim that sunscreens are waterproof or sweat proof, they can only claim water resistant.