National “Don’t Fry Day” is held on the Friday before Memorial Day. It’s an annual awareness day sponsored by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. The idea is to create more awareness on skin cancer and “knowing is half the battle.” We also want to take a moment and thank all of the men and women who have served our country...
According to Dermatologist Dr. Carl Thornfeldt, MD “skin cancer has grown 16% over the last decade.” So, days like Don’t Fry Day are a great reason to talk about skin cancer. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that 9,000 people die a year and that skin cancer costs an estimated $8.1 Billion per year. That is a lot of people that are losing their lives really for no reason, not to mention an extreme cost.
In most cases, skin cancer is preventable. Ultraviolet rays (UV) are the main culprit. UV rays are broken down into three categories; UVA, UVB and UVC. Out of the three UVA and UVB are the most dangerous. This is because they have longer wavelengths (280-400 nm) which account for the majority of the damaging light out there. The issue is the millions of people that still don’t wear sunscreen. It’s crazy. And, even though it’s been said time and time again, according to the CDC, an estimated 3200 people a year go to the emergency room following tanning beds.
Prevention is key
In short, avoiding UV light is the key. Unless you live in a underground cave, it’s virtually impossible to avoid the sun. So how do we avoid skin cancer? The best response is there are ways you can reduce your exposure to it. Here is a short list of ways to reduce or avoid exposure:
- -when outside wear a hat
- -use and reapply sunscreen with an SPF of 30+ every two hours
- -DO NOT go to a tanning bed to tan
- -wear protective clothing and cover your arms, legs, shoulders, etc
- -hang out in the shade
- -do not assume clouds protect you from UV (they don’t)
What to look for
Skin cancer can be a scary thing. The most important thing is to see your physician for yearly checkups. “Any new growths of lesions, moles, or spots that are itchy, bleeding, scaly, or changes you notice should be checked out immediately” says respected Dermatologist Dr. Amy Paul, DO. “Since your skin is the largest organ of your body and cells constantly turn over you naturally have a higher risk to develop cancer.”
This information is not meant to scare you. It’s intended to educate you with the hope of making a difference in your exposure to the sun or tanning beds. An easy tip for sunscreen reapplication is Colorescience’s Sunforgettable brush…it’s a dry, non-oil based sunblock you can actually brush on your skin. Takes about 20-30 seconds and you are good for 2 hours. No joke. Even if you don’t use the brush take our advice and take care of your skin. It might just save your life.
Have a safe Memorial Day weekend!
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