Despite the misconception that skin cancer can only be found in those with fair skin, this highly preventable disease is caused mostly by one’s lifestyle. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “13 million Americans are living with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer, and nearly 800,000 Americans are living with a history of melanoma.” About 90 percent of non-melanoma cases of skin cancer and 65 percent of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. More than half of these people could have prevented this disease by changing their lifestyle.
A person’s risk for melanoma doubles for every five sunburns in their lifetime, so not allowing your skin to become sunburned is the best way to avoid the risk of skin cancer. This means, seeking shade, covering up with clothing, and applying sunscreen. Something as simple as adding SPF to your daily routine (no matter the season) could save your life. It’s not just the sun you have to worry about though; UV exposure is just as dangerous. Just four visits a year to the tanning salon can increase your risk of developing melanoma by 11 percent.
Still looking for a glow? Now, there is no need to compromise your health for a great tan. Organic sunless tanning is a healthy alternative that not only produces the same, if not better results, but can minimize the appearance of scars and blemishes, make you appear thinner and even disguise cellulite!
When it comes to skin cancer, early detection and screenings can be the difference between beating the disease and becoming a statistic. Doctors recommend regularly doing a “head to toe” check of your skin, looking for moles, growths, or lesions. Specifically, moles that look different from surrounding moles and skin marks can be a sign of melanoma, so it is important to be aware of any changes in your skin. It is also useful to receive an annual skin examination from your dermatologist for a more thorough diagnosis.
Healthy skin is in so changing your lifestyle is the best way to avoid this disease. So, to minimize the rise in skin cancer and in celebration of National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, think about how you can advocate healthy skin for yourself and others. Why risk your health when you can actively prevent damaging your skin for a lifetime?
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