The summer days are upon us, and so are the warm and wonderful (yet damaging) rays of the sun. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with more than 1 million cases each year. With over 90% of melanomas being caused by the sun’s rays, there are a few very important steps that we should all take in order to protect ourselves. Here are some guidelines to help you stay safe in and out of the sun this season!
Seek the shade!
Staying in the shade between the hours for 10 AM and 4 PM is one of the most important things you can do to protect your skin. This is when the sun rays are usually the strongest. If you are outside, head for the shady side of the street or use a sun umbrella. Try your favorite outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon. The beach at sunset perhaps?
Do not burn.
Even one sunburn increases your risk of melanoma, the deadliest of all skin cancers. Five or more sunburns doubles your lifetime risk.
Avoid UV tanning in tanning booths.
Whether your tan comes from the beach or from the salon, it all has the same amount of skin cancer risk. Tanning bed users are at higher risk for skin cancer since the sunlamps in tanning beds produce UVR doses 12 times higher than the actual sun.
Clothing is a very effective form of sun protection. Wrap-around UV- blocking sunglasses help prevent conditions including cataracts and melanomas of the eye and eyelid, and wide brimmed hats protect the face as well as the back of the neck.
Use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher every single day.
The SPF in sunscreen measures how long your skin can be protected from the sun’s UVB rays before burning. SPF 15 is a good place to start, but you should check labels and with your doctor to determine what is best.
- Look for these changes in your skin. Cancer warning signs include:
- A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust or scab
- An open sore that does not heal within two weeks
- A skin growth, mole, beauty mark or brown spot that does one of the following:
- changes color
- changes texture
- increases in size or thickness
- is asymmetrical
- has an irregular border
- is bigger than 6mm, the size of a pencil eraser
- appears after the age of 21
See your physician once a year for a skin exam.
Be sure to consult your doctor with any questions, and aim for a thorough examination once a year.
Come get an Ortanic tan and stay safe this summer!
We have some awesome packages and a great membership that won’t break the bank but will ensure you with a great tan the whole summer without any damage to your skin! Come see us!