Summer is just around the corner and with it fewer articles of clothing and more exposure to sunshine. But more exposure to sunshine also means more risk. Here are some tips on how to take care of your skin during the warmer, fewer clothes months.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF SKIN CANCER
The three most common forms of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. The bumps or skin marks caused by these cancers won’t necessarily itch or burn.
Melanoma starts with a horizontal growth pattern before it goes to a deeper level. It is most common in older adults but in the United States the incidents of melanoma among women under 30 has increased was tanning bed use has increased. Melanoma is the deadliest of the 3 most common types of skin cancer. Chances of surviving melanoma are directly related to how early it is detected.
Here’s a handy chart to show you what to look for in melanoma.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON RISK FACTORS FOR SKIN CANCER.
- A history of skin cancer in the family
- Being fair
- Having freckles
- Being naturally blond
- Being a natural red head
- Having blue eyes
- Having hazel eyes
- Living between 0º and 45º north or south latitudes (the hottest, most equatorial zones)
While these are the most common risk factors, people with high melanin levels do get skin cancer as well and should still protect themselves. In addition to skin cancer, the sun also causes wrinkles and age spots, to which high melanin people are as prone as the more fair.
WHY IS USING BROAD SPECTRUM SUN SCREEN IMPORTANT
The sun rays that cause skin cancer are UVB rays. The sun rays that cause wrinkles, age spots and generally make you look old and leathery but don’t kill you are UVA waves. Regular sunscreen protects against cancer by blocking UVB rays. Broad spectrum sunscreen blocks UVA and UVB rays.
For regular sun exposure (say going on a jog before work then walking from the house to the car and from the car to the office) SPF 15 is fine. For hiking, biking, going to a picnic or other long time sun exposure activities SPF 30 is recommended.
If you didn’t listen to any of the above advice and you’re paying for it now with regular, everyday age spots that aren’t cancerous, call Women First for a Cellulaze consultation appointment. That’s right, the same laser machine Women First uses to permanently remove cellulite can also remove tattoos from the skin’s surface and some age spots. Make a consultation appointment today to see about undoing some of those kisses the sun has given you.