Monday, May 17, 2010

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

It's Mid-May and I'm just now getting to this. Geesh--where is this month going?

Anyway, if you've read my blog for awhile, you know that I am serious about skin cancer. Being fair skinned, skin cancer is a huge risk factor for me. Because of my fear of skin cancer, I am diligent when it comes to sun protection. And I like to take some time on my blog to remind you all to be sun safe.

I know I've said it a million times, but the best way to keep yourself cancer free is to limit your exposure to the sun. You should get in the habit NOW to wear sunscreen every single day--no matter what season it is, no matter what the weather is...apply sunscreen daily, at least 30 minutes before sun exposure. Another important thing to do: avoid excess sun exposure. Yes, we all need Vitamin D, but you really shouldn't be spending hours soaking in the sun or, even worse, lying in a tanning booth. Eek!

Here are some more important things I need to remind you about when it comes to skin cancer:
  • If you love the way your skin looks when you tan, consider this: UV expose leads to premature aging--wrinkles, brown spots, etc. If skin cancer won't scare you off a tanning bed, maybe looking 50 when you're 30 will. Seriously--don't you want to fight the signs of aging?
  • When it comes to skin cancer, early detection is a lifesaver....and detection begins at home! Just like you should be doing a month breast self-exam, it's good to also check your skin for strange moles or markings that could spell trouble. Click here for more info on self exams.
  • When applying sunblock (because you ARE using a daily sunblock, right?!) don't forget your neck, your ears, your chest, and your hands. Those annoying "liver spots" on your hands? They have nothing to do with your liver and everything to do with sun damage. It's easy to forget these areas, and they need just as much protection as your face.
  • If you have any bald men in your life, remind them to apply sunblock to the top of their head. How often do you see bald men with sunburned scalps in the summer? Quite frequently--a sad fact since more men are diagnosed with (and die from) melanoma than women.
  • If you still want a "healthy glow" but you don't want to increase your UV exposure, you can go with a fake tan. The goal is to apply the product correctly to avoid looking orange or streaky. Click here for tips on a decent Fake Bake.


Chelsea said...

Thank you for this. Having watched both my grandmother and my aunt very painfully overcome melanoma (my aunt had 4 inches of skin removed from her leg), it's not a topic you can over encourage!

Aging Wrinkles said...

I have seen people who have tanned really well sitting in the shade, I have a friend who can only sit in the sun for short periods of time, and spends most of the day in the shade, yet comes away with a nice tan

jenna said...

Some people do tend to go a little overboard with tanning, but if you skin is sensitive, I recommend spray tanning! You can protect your skin from harmful UV rays or any skin damage for sure.