Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US? More than two million people are diagnosed each year, which means there are more new cases of skin cancer annually than breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer combined.
What makes skin cancer unique compared to other cancers is that you can consciously choose to reduce or increase your risk of developing it. For instance, if you spend a large amount of time in the sun without wearing sunscreen, or you frequently go to the tanning bed, your chances of being diagnosed with skin cancer increase greatly.
Going to a tanning bed especially increases your chances of developing skin cancer. Just one indoor tanning session increases a person’s chance of melanoma by 20 percent. And if you tan six times or more a year in high school or college, your risks increase to a shocking 73 percent.
The statistics are scary, but as we mentioned before, you can dramatically decrease your chances of developing melanoma, and here’s how.
1) Use sunscreen. Always. No matter if it’s the dead of winter or the middle of the summer, slathering on the SPF is a must, especially on your face. Daily use will decrease aging by 24 percent.
2) Seek shade. The hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the most dangerous. Wear a hat to cover your face, or carry an umbrella to your skin out of direct sunlight. More than 90 percent of visible changed related to aging are because of sun exposure.
3) Stay out of the tanning bed. Period.
Even if you don’t spend a lot of time in the sun, you should always keep an eye on your moles and birthmarks. If you notice that they’re changing, whether it be their color, shape or their size, you should schedule an appointment at our clinic to get them examined.
Summer might be winding down, but that’s not an excuse to stop wearing sunscreen or stay in the shade. At Clinic on Sixth, we care about you, and we want you to take care of your skin. Cheers to being healthy!