May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and while this month has come to an end, protecting your skin should not. Follow these tips along with a few new updates to take note of, to lower your risk of Melanoma and other skin conditions.
1. Use Sunscreen
This is the easiest and most obvious way to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. FDA requirements for sunscreen are currently set at SPF 15. Dermatologists, however, recommend an SPF of at least 30, prompting the FDA to propose updated regulatory requirements. Now that many beauty products contain some basic levels of SPF, reaching the recommendation is now easier than ever. Products such as Zinc It Over Sunscreen Facial mist make it convenient to reapply the recommended every two hours- even over makeup!
2. Look for Some Shade
The summer sun promises fun and adventure, but make sure you can always hit the shade for a break every once in a while. It’s possible to get busy and distracted, forgetting to reapply sunscreen, and leaving yourself vulnerable. And even sunscreen can only help so much. If you’ve got hobbies or a job that keeps you in the sun, make sure to take time out for shade on a semi-regular basis. Studies show that active duty military members and veterans in the United States may be at elevated risk for melanoma, likely relating to prolonged hours in the sun with limited protection.
3. Be Vigilant
Most cases of skin cancer can be attributed to UV exposure. But like all cancers, there is a genetic component to melanoma. Genetic testing can help with early detection. Especially if you have cancers in your family, you should be wary of spending too much time in the sun. Patients with cancer in remission, especially leukemia, are at elevated risk and should be monitored carefully.
4. Wear Protective Clothing
It’s summer, it’s hot, the last thing you want to do is cover up. However, keeping yourself covered could save your life. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and one in five people will develop skin cancer in the US. That makes it more deadly and more prominent than any other skin cancer. Girls and women 15-29 are at unique risk, with skin cancer being the second most common cancer among young women, after breast cancer.
While skin cancer is one of the most common cancers, it is also one of the most preventable. Educating yourself on how to protect yourself is only part of the battle. Staying covered up in the sun, and always remembering your sunscreen, as well as being more aware of your own health can ensure that you and your loved ones stay cancer-free not just in May but all year long!
Have a FAB summer,