While May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we’ve always been committed to using sunscreen every day. As a potentially fatal disease that is largely preventable, Melanoma affects more than 5 million people a year. By sharing some facts about the dangers of unprotected sun exposure and teaching people how to check for warning signs, we can do our part to prevent new cases in the future. Let’s look at five major facts about Melanoma from the Skin Cancer Foundation and some tips on what you can do to protect yourself.
- 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
- Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk of getting Melanoma.
- Today, Melanoma is one of the most common cancers found among young adults in the U.S.
- Regular daily use of SPF 15 or more reduces your risk of Melanoma by 50%.
- If you catch skin cancer early enough, your survival rate increases. In fact, there is a 99% early detection survival rate.
Ready to do all you can to prevent getting skin cancer? You can start by making applying sunscreen a daily habit. Don’t forget to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of at least 30, and go beyond your face and body, and slather it on your hands, ears, and neck too. Here are some additional tips:
- Avoid getting sunburned and remember you can burn even when it’s cloudy outside.
- Shade is a good thing. Be sure to stay out of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm.
- Avoid tanning and never use tanning beds.
- Stay covered up by wearing hats, UV blocking sunglasses and sun protection shirts.
- Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/ UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen.
- Apply at least 1 ounce of sunscreen (enough to fill a shot glass) to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
- See a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin exam.