May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and with more than five million cases of skin cancer each year, it’s a cause we can definitely get behind. As one of the most preventable forms of cancer, getting the facts out there about prevention and spreading our passion for “practicing safe sun” is work we are happy to do all year long. From preventative measures to early detection, join us as we share just a few reasons why you should wear sunscreen every day.
Decrease Your Risk
Above all else, it’s important to recognize the dangers of skin cancer...the reality is about 90% of skin cancers and 85% of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. The crazy part? You can help prevent skin cancer just by making applying sunscreen a daily habit and go beyond your face and body...slathering it on your hands, ears, and neck too. You can also cover up with protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses and avoid those peak mid-day sun rays.
The number one cause of premature aging of the face is ultraviolet exposure. No one wants leathery skin, right? So be sure to use a UV-ray-slaying moisturizer that protects your skin and stop sun damage before it starts. Look for sun protection that is broad-spectrum and protects against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of at least 30. It’s best applied in the morning, after your moisturizer, but before your makeup, and remember that reapplication is advised for all-day protection. For maximum protection, trying using your sunscreen over a product containing Vitamin C.
The Ozone Layer
The ozone layer acts as a shield for the earth by absorbing harmful UVB rays before they can harm us. As the ozone layer depletes, you need additional protection from the harmful rays. That’s why it’s important to make wearing sunscreen as part of your daily routine, rain or shine.
Sunscreen Protects in Many Ways
Sunburns aside, heatstroke and heat exhaustion are also health issues that can arise from extended sun exposure during the day. If you are consciously protecting yourself by using sunscreen, chances are you are also wearing protective clothing, hydrating, and finding other ways to protect and cool your body when it’s hot.
So, as we celebrate skin cancer awareness, remember these facts:
Skin cancer is the cancer you SEE. Check your skin once a month and keep these three words in mind: NEW, CHANGING, or UNUSUAL.
If something new doesn’t go away after a few weeks or starts to grow, go see a dermatologist.
Any growth on your skin that has increased in size or thickness or has changed color, shape, or texture could be a warning sign. Time to make an appointment.
Anything that looks different than other moles should be watched, and if it itches, bleeds, hurts, or won’t heal, get it checked out.