We all love the sun, especially in the springtime when we Seattleites wonder what that bright thing is in the sky! While we all deserve a little fun in the sun, May is a good reminder that we need to be aware of the fact one in five Americans develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
Here are five facts on skin health and skin cancer prevention:
1. One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a persons chance of developing melanoma later in life.
2. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation just one indoor tanning session (tanning beds) increases users’ chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent.
3. Sunscreen is an important part of your sun protection regimen, even on cloudy days. UVA and UVB rays are carcinogenic and aging to our skin. Use a medical grade broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. Apply your sunscreen 30 minutes prior to going outside and reapply every two to four hours when outdoors to reduce risk of harmful UVA/UVB rays. Seek shade during the sun’s harshest hours: between 10 a.m. and 4 pm.
4. Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and a healthy immune system. The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests you get your recommended daily 600 iu or 800 iu for people ages 70 and older of vitamin D from food sources like oily fish, fortified dairy products and supplements.
5. It is important to see your dermatologist once a year for a professional skin exam. If you notice any changes in your moles including size, shape or color, or they become itchy or bleeding, see your dermatologist as soon as possible.
These simple steps can help prevent skin cancers in you and family, while still enjoying our much deserved summer days!
Denice Schwind, PA-C has specialized in Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology since 2004 and is an industry leader in skin care and anti-aging. Denice will provide monthly expert, unbiased information to you about skin care products, top trends, medical issues and anti-aging advice in her Edmonds Skin Care and Anti-Aging column with MyEdmondsNews. Feel free to submit questions directly to Denice at email@example.com.