July is UV Safety Month. Are you protected enough?
Beauty bloggers, moms and dermatologists agree – never leave the house without sun protection. Whether it be sunblock, umbrellas, sunglasses or big hats, experts are united in fighting off the most common type of cancer in the world – skin cancer.
Just how common is skin cancer?
According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, there are more people diagnosed with Skin Cancer than the combined incidence of breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers. In the United States, it is estimated that 1 in 5 will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime.
Knowing your risk is the first step to preventing skin cancer. How many of these risk factors do you have?
- A lighter natural skin color.
- Family history of skin cancer.
- A personal history of skin cancer.
- Exposure to the sun through work and play.
- A history of sunburns, especially early in life.
- A history of indoor tanning.
- Skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun.
- Blue or green eyes.
- Blond or red hair.
- Certain types and a large number of moles.
The scariest thing about Skin Cancer is that everyday exposure to UV Rays is a risk factor. As we all know, the sun gives off unlimited UV rays and no one in the planet can completely escape exposure. Cloudy weather doesn’t give much protection either – 80% of UV rays can penetrate the clouds! Both UVA and UVB rays penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and is said to play an important role in causing skin aging and skin cancers.
Did you know? UVA Rays can penetrate clouds, glass and your skin putting you at risk for premature skin aging and skin cancer.
UVA radiation accounts for 95% of UV radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface. They are relatively less intense than UVB rays, can penetrate clouds and glass and is present in equal intensity during daylight hours. UVA Rays penetrates the skin deeply enough to cause damage to the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur.
On the other hand, UVB rays are more associated with the redness and sunburn that comes with sun exposure. Just like UVA Rays, prolonged exposure to UVB rays can also increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
UV safety month is all about knowing how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from Skin Cancer. Here are 5 tips to get you started!
- Never go out of the house without proper sun protection. Broad Spectrum (provides UVA/UVB protection) sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 should be applied every day. If you’re going to spend a lot of time outdoors, opt for a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply every 2 hours.
- Being UV Smart doesn’t mean looking less stylish! Use UV blocking sunglasses or wide brim hats when you’re going to be out in the sun for hours.
- Stay away from UV Tanning Beds. Just don’t. It’s never worth your health!
- Stay in the shade, especially between 10AM and 4PM when the sun is at its best.
- Give yourself a head to toe assessment every month. Any suspicious lesions, wounds or growths should be seen and examined by your physician.
Do you know your Sun Safety IQ? Take this Quiz to find out!