Skin Cancer Awareness


Did you know that May is skin cancer awareness month? Well, it is, and I have found some helpful tips that might protect you from this indescriminate disease.  I will begin with this, skin cancer is a lifestyle disease, affecting young women, older men and everyone in between.  But, because it is chiefly a lifestyle disease, it is highly preventable.  Unfortunatly, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime; 13 million Americans are living with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer, and nearly 800,000 Americans are living with a history of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, so obviously the proper precautions to prevent it are not being taken.  Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the cause of about 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 65% of melanoma cases, and this can be prevented, heres how...

1. Shade.  Seek the shade between 10 AM and 4 PM, this is when the sun is stongest.  Also, try the "shadow rule".  If your shadow is shorter then you are, the sun's harmful UV rays are stronger; if your shadow is longer, UV radiation is less intense.

2. Do Not Burn.  A person's risk of melanoma doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns at any point in life.

3. Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.  UV radiation from tanning machines is known to cause cancer, and the more time a person has spent tanning indoors, the higher the risk.  Four visits to the tanning bed in one year can increase the risk of melanoma by 11%,  and increase the risk for the two most common forms of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, by 15%.

4. Cover up.  Clothing can be the most effective form of sun protection, so make the most of it with densley woven and bright-or-dark-colored fabrics.  Wear a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. The more skin you cover, the better.

5. Sunscreen.  Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.  Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours or immediatly after swimming or excessive sweating.

7. Keep newborns out of the sun.  Babies six months of age and older can use sunscreen, but they should still be protected by shade or sunscreen.  Exposing your child to just one severe sunburn in childhood doubles their chances of developing melanoma later in life.

8. Examine your skin head-to-toe  every month.  A self-exam should not replace an annual skin exam performed by a physician, but it does offer the best chance of detecting early warning signs of skin cancer.  If you notice any change in an existing mole or discover a new one that looks suspicious, see a physician immediately.


In honor of May being Skin Cancer Awareness month, Conkright Aesthetics is offering 20% off of all our sunscreens this month!  Call or stop in today to purchase your HEALTHY SKIN PROTECTION!

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