Thursday, June 13, 2013

Skin Cancer Myths-And Facts

From: Skin Cancer Foundation Journal

Myth: Eighty percent of a person's lifelong sun exposure is acquired before age 18.
Fact: Actually, only about 23 percent of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18. You can-and should-protect yourself from the sun at every age.

Myth: Tanning at a salon is safer than tanning outdoors-it's a controlled does of radiation.
Fact: When compared to people who have never tanned indoors, indoor tanners have a higher risk of all skin cancers. A "controlled" dose of tanning lamp radiation provides as much as 12 times the annual ultraviolet A (UVA) dose tanners receive from sun exposure. Just one indoor tanning session increases users' chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent.

Myth: Ingredients in sunscreen can cause cancer.
Fact: Research shows that when used as directed, sunscreens are safe and effective.

Myth: The sun is the best way to obtain vitamin D.
Fact: Our bodies can produce some vitamin D following sun exposure. However, within as little as a few minutes, vitamin D manufacture reaches its maximum. Meanwhile, the sun is damaging your skin and immune system. Diet and supplements are the safest way to obtain vitamin D.

Myth: You can't sustain sun damage on a cloudy day.
Fact: Believe it or not, up to 80 percent of the sun's harmful UV rays can penetrate clouds and fog.

Myth: A "base tan" protects your skin from sunburn.
Fact: A tan is a sign of skin damage. Skin tans in response to UV damage to the skin's DNA; a tan is the skin's attempt to repair damage and prevent further injury. But imperfect repairs can eventually lead to skin cancer.

Myth: A high SPF is all that you need in a sunscreen.
Fact: A sunscreen's SPF (sun protection factor) indicates protection from UVB rays, but UVA protection is necessary, too. Apply a UVA- and UVB- screening/broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15+ (or 30+ for extended outdoor activity).

Myth: People of color don't get skin cancer.
Fact: People of color are less likely to develop skin cancer than Caucasians, but they have a higher risk of dying from it. The dangerous and fast-spreading skin cancer acral lentiginous melanoma is more common among darker-skinned people. Whatever your skin color, protect yourself.

Myth: Windows protect us from the sun's ultraviolet rays.
Fact: While glass blocks most UVB rays, UVA radiation can get through. However, UVA-screening window film is also available.