May – Skin Cancer Awareness Month
May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month
Florida is the Sunshine State and most of us couldn’t think of anything better than laying out on the beach or by the pool while the sun’s warm rays turn our skin a lovely shade of bronze. And of course, we know that the sun is the best source of Vitamin D, but as tempting as it is to spend loads of time outdoors absorbing the sun, there are some things you should know before you cause serious damage to your skin. A tan may make you look nice now, but it can be life-threatening in the future. But don’t worry! You don’t have to sacrifice being tan to protect yourself. You can have both!
Read on for the info you need to know, as well as tips on protecting your skin while still looking gorgeously bronzed.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV radiation can also come from tanning booths or sunlamps. The most dangerous kind of skin cancer is called melanoma.
The good news? Skin cancer can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to prevent skin cancer or detect it early on.
Make a difference: Spread the word about strategies for preventing skin cancer and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.
How can Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month make a difference?
We can use this month to raise awareness about skin cancer and help people take action to prevent or detect it, both at home and in the community.
Here are just a few ideas:
Encourage families to adopt good habits together, like wearing sunscreen and limiting their time in the sun.
Motivate teachers and administrators to teach kids about the harm of UV radiation and why it’s important to protect yourself.
Identify youth leaders in your community who can talk to their peers about taking steps to prevent skin cancer.
Partner with a local hospital, state fair, or similar organization to host a skin cancer screening event.
How can I help spread the INFORMATION?
1- Add information about skin cancer prevention to your newsletter.
2- Promote and recommend your favorite effective Sunscreen brands.
3- Tweet about Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month.
4- Host a community event where families can learn how to prevent skin cancer.
Sponsor: American Academy of Dermatology
And now for some Florida Sunshine Tips:
- Sun Facts:
ANY visible tan on your skin that differs from your natural skin color is sun damage; the deeper the color, the worse the damage.
All skin colors are susceptible to skin cancer, not just fair skin.
Most skin cancer is caused by sun damage that occurred before the age of 20.
You can get melanoma on your scalp.
Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults, and can often be deadly.
The sun doesn’t just damage your skin. It can also cause numerous eye problems, such as cataracts and pterygium (surfer’s eye).
90% of fine lines, wrinkles, and brown spots on skin are caused by sun damage and could have been prevented.
- How to Protect Yourself:
Apply sunscreen every day. Remember to reapply every two hours, especially if you are swimming or sweating.
When choosing a sunblock, make sure to choose one that has UVA or Broad Spectrum protection, because if it doesn’t, then it may only protect you from UVB rays.
Never, NEVER go into a tanning bed!!! Really, just don’t. There is NO such thing as a safe tan!! Just last year, tanning beds were officially added to the highest-risk category on the list of top cancer-causers, right up there with cigarettes, mustard gas, and arsenic. Stay away!!
Buy a daily moisturizer for your face that contains an SPF of at least 15. The skin on your face is more sensitive to sun damage than the rest of your body. These moisturizers are made by many brands available in our industry.
Wear hats, visors, baseball caps:
Not only do these accessories provide protection, but they can be quite fashionable.
Sunglasses: Protect your eyes!!!The choices are endless and make a fashion statement.
Try to avoid being in direct sunlight from 10 AM to 4 PM, when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
Sun protective clothing:
Many clothing brands include sun protection in the fabric. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and indicates how much of the sun’s UV radiation is absorbed. A fabric with a rating of 50 will allow only 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays to pass through. This means the fabric will reduce your skin’s UV radiation exposure significantly.
- Don’t Sacrifice a Great Tan:
If you really are set on getting bronzed skin for the summer, don’t fret. There are plenty of effective products on the market today that give you natural looking tans without the damaging effects of the sun.
Self tanning products are a great alternative and easy to use. There are many options that show results right away.
Tanning Sunless Spray…..You also have the option of going to a tanning salon or spa and getting a spray tan. These look great and work well.
- Reverse Sun Damage:
It’s never too late to start protecting yourself from the sun. Be sure to use the protection tips above, because not only will they prevent further damage, but they may also reverse some of the damage that has already been done.
You can also reverse sun damage by eating foods rich in antioxidants and using products on your face that contain vitamins and antioxidants, which neutralize harmful toxins.
So enjoy the sunshine and stay SMART!!