Skin Cancer Awareness Month
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Monday, May 7th, is Melanoma Day. According to HealthDay, Mount Sinai experts in New York City say that one in five Americans will develop the potentially fatal cancer. However, prevention strategies can go a long way toward keeping you from becoming a statistic. Here are some tips from the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention:
Avoid Getting a Tan, and Definitely Don't Burn
Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds causes skin cancer and wrinkling.
Stay in the Shade When Sun’s Rays Are the Strongest.
That's between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Wear Cover-Up Clothing, a Hat, and Sunglasses
Long-sleeved shirts and pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV protection sunglasses will keep you from soaking up too many rays.
Apply Sunscreen Generously and Often
A Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher with broad-spectrum protection from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) is best. Apply 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours.
Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow, and Sand
All three of these reflect the harmful rays of the sun, which can make a sunburn more likely.
Get Vitamin D Safely
A couple of hours of sunlight on your skin each week is all you need to make your own Vitamin D. You can also get the sunshine vitamin with a healthy diet and supplements. There is some controversy now about the supplements so talk with your doctor about what would be best for you at your current age.
Finally, don't forget that early detection of melanoma can save your life. Examine all of your skin once a month and head to the doctor if you notice a new or changing mole or dark spot. Also, have your physician do a full skin screening during your annual physical.