Every year around 4 million US citizens are diagnosed with skin cancer. Of these, 3,000 lose their life because of the illness. If that’s not enough, one in five Americans will develop melanoma by the time they are 70 while more people are diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
None of us want to be a part of these harrowing statistics. We know more now than we ever did about how to protect our skin from melanoma, so what should we be aware of when it comes to our skin?
Moles, pigmented growth that can be under or on the skin, are highly susceptible to skin cancer. They should regularly be checked for discoloration, such as darkening. While concerns should also presented to your GP if the mole raises above the skin or else becomes itchy or irritated. Any change like this can indicate morphing of cells which can be due to a cancerous growth. The same should be kept in mind for birthmarks or freckles that are regularly exposed to the sun. They should always be covered with sunscreen.
Going to the beach is something most of us love doing during the summer, but without properly protecting your skin, you are putting your long-term health and life in danger. Sunscreen should be applied and re-applied thoroughly throughout the day while a hat should always be worn to protect your head. To be completely safe, stay seated in the shade for as long as possible and only venture into the sun for short periods.
There are two types of UV, both of which can damage your skin. UVA, which can pass through glass, causes premature aging in skin, as well as playing a role in melanoma, and UVB which is a lot more dangerous, causing sunburn while also being closely linked with causing cancer. A UV index is updated each day and can be usually found as part of the weather news. This should be consulted before going into the sun.
You can’t be too careful when it comes to sun exposure. Prolonged sun bathing should be avoided and if a tan is what you are after than it should come from a bottle. As mentioned, skin cancer is a leading cause of deaths in the US so there is no excuse for putting your life at risk under the sun.