May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Summer is almost here. As our calendars fill with outside events, our skin's exposure to that gorgeous yellow ball in the sky is sure to increase. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. According to the skin cancer foundation, 87,110 new cases of INVASIVE melanoma will be diagnosed in the United States in 2017. That number is staggering and hard to imagine. The number becomes a bit more real when you know someone that was diagnosed with melanoma and ultimately lost his battle to the disease just a few short months ago. (RIP T.T.) Prevention and early detection will be key to decrease these scary statistics. If melanoma is detective before it reaches the lymph nodes, the 5 year survival rate is 98%! Take a few moments to do a skin check on yourself and your family members. Look for asymmetry, irregular borders, color changes and moles that are larger than a #2 pencil eraser. If you find anything suspicious, see your doctor or if you want a full screening schedule a skin cancer screening with a dermatologist. The American Academy of Dermatology has a list of doctors that offer free screenings.
Here is a list of of things you can do to kick off your summer, protect yourself and remind your friends and family to do the same.
1. Throw away all old bottles of sunscreen. Once opened, sunscreen should be used within 3 months
2. Do not purchase your sunblock at an outlet store or off the clearance shelf. Products may be old, therefore, the active ingredients will no longer work
3. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen/sunblock -- protect against both UVA and UVB rays
4. Reapply sunblock every 80 minutes, the sun eventually powers through and destroys the active ingredients providing the protection
5. Do not trust make-up or moisturizer containing SPF--the active ingredients in cosmetics is not strong enough!!!
6. Be the cool person under an umbrella at the ballgame, pool or beach
7. Wear a wide brimmed hat
8. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and skin around the eyes
9. Add Vitamin C serums in your daily skin care routine for added protection
10. Get a natural looking golden glow with self-tanning lotions or spray tan
Committing to these few steps, for many people, is a lifestyle change. I have clients say, "it is too late to start now". Sun-damage is cumulative, so, it is definitely not too late to begin to protect yourself. The anti-aging bonus: according to the skin cancer foundation, 90% of our skin's aging is caused by the sun. Persons that use daily SPF will show 24% less skin aging than someone that does not use SPF. "Slower skin aging? Yes, please! Count me in on that stat".
❤️SPF = BFF❤️