The summer is here, and so are the sun’s harmful rays. As young people, we tend to think we’re invincible, but the damaging consequences faced by thousands is proof that, no matter the age, our skin is still vulnerable.
Melanoma is one of the most serious skin cancers out there. It occurs when the pigment-producing cells (cells that give color to the skin) become cancerous due to over exposure to the sun. Luckily, if the melanoma is detected early, it is very curable. But the longer one waits, these cancerous cells can spread like wildfire. One person dies of melanoma every hour. I’m sure many will be shocked at those odds, so please be sure to keep these tips in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable summer.
Contrary to popular belief, using sunscreen once will not keep you protected for the entire day. Remember to apply a generous amount of SPF cream at least every two hours.
Is it true that some sunscreens are harmful? Don’t worry, just about all sunscreens will do their job without harming your body.
However, sunscreens that contain nanoparticles of zinc or titanium dioxide have the ability to pass the skin and travel into the bloodstream. If the ingredients don’t show signs of these nanoparticles, you’re in the clear.
Have short hair, or no hair at all? Remember to cover up! Sometimes it’s easy to forget this part of the body, so make sure to wear a hat. A wide-brimmed hat is the best way to combat those pesky UV rays.
Avoid tanning beds. This is hopefully self-explanatory, but many are still attempting to achieve that golden glow. The artificial tan is still not worth the damaging consequences to our skin.
Even visiting a tanning salon once a year can triple your chances of getting skin cancer, so do yourself a favor and invest in spray tan.
It is important to know the difference between a normal mole and a cancerous one. The best way to go about this is to check your skin frequently, and check for any notable changes. This diagram shows what to look for.
Even though skin cancer is a result of direct over exposure to sunlight, remember that melanoma can grow anywhere on the body. This includes the soles of your feet, between your toes and your nail beds.
Don’t forget to cover up, protect your skin and enjoy the sunshine responsibly.