When it comes to protecting your skin, particularly during the hot and sunny summer months where UV damage is particularly likely, most of us know the importance of daily sunscreen usage and how to keep an eye out for suspicious moles. However, there are some new skin cancer facts that may surprise you; take a look below and you might learn something new!
SPF 100 Isn’t 100% Protection
You may think that a bottle of sunscreen labeled “SPF 100” is suggesting that 100% of cancer-causing rays are successfully blocked. However, this isn’t accurate. If applied correctly, an SPF 100 is able to block out about 98% of rays at best, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. To apply correctly means using at least a shot glass’ worth of sunscreen over the entire body and making certain to reapply every two hours.
Skin Cancer on the Left Side Is Most Common
In the United States, skin cancer is most commonly found on the left side of the body. The reason for this is largely due to the position in which we drive our vehicles. UV light comes through the window regardless of weather conditions and penetrates the skin. This is why regular sunscreen application is so important, even if you’re only going for a quick drive instead of basking directly in the sunshine.
A Single Indoor Tanning Session Increases Melanoma Risk by 20%
Many people think that tanning booths should be illegal considering how dangerous and destructive they are to the health of those who use them. Studies conducted over the past 40 years have shown a huge increase (an 800% increase) of skin cancer among young women age 18 to 39 years of age due to tanning bed usage.
Sun Damage Continues After Exposure
The Yale Department of Dermatology has new research that shows that damage to skin cells continues to occur for up to four hours after actual sun exposure. It was formally thought that the damage only occurred during exposure times.
Melanomas Aren’t Always Brown
You have probably seen plenty of pictures online or in brochures at the doctor’s office that showcase brown, irregular melanomas. However, did you know that melanomas can also be red, purple, pink, or skin colored in hue? They can also be rough, smooth, flat, raised, or come in various sizes from quite small to large.
To keep your skin healthy and have a better chance of spotting any skin irregularities early, visit us regularly for a skin examination.