May has quickly approached us, which means it’s National Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness Month. Considering the disease is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States, it’s easy to see the importance of the initiative. Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Before heading outdoors this summer, we encourage you to educate yourself on ways to maintain superior skin health.
In the meantime, here are some of the most noteworthy skin cancer preventative tips.
Say no to tanning beds: Don’t believe the hype—just because tanning indoors is a controlled dose of ultraviolet radiation does not make it okay. Believe it or not, indoor tanners are typically less safe than the rays of the sun, as new high-pressure sunlamps can deliver as much as 12 times the annual UVA dose as natural exposure.3
Don’t feel confident just because you’re young: While the average age of those diagnosed with skin cancer lies somewhere between 45 and 55, it turns out a quarter of all cases occur in people under the age of 40. So regardless of age, make sure you protect yourself—always use sunscreen and wear protective clothing while outdoors.
Be vigilant with sunscreen: While it’s true that those with darker skin tones are less likely to develop the disease than those with lighter, fairer skin tones, the risk still exists for everyone. It’s important for everyone to protect themselves; lather up and protect all exposed areas with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, even on days when it isn’t sunny out; before venturing outdoors.
Check non-exposed parts of the body for signs of the disease: Believe it or not, melanoma can be diagnosed anywhere from the soles of one’s feet to beneath the fingernails. That’s why it’s important to regularly see your dermatologist and continually check your moles for signs of any changes.