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Prevent & Detect Melanoma

March 29, 2017

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Prevent & Detect Melanoma

March 29, 2017

Simple Steps to Prevent and Detect

Melanoma/Skin Cancer

 

Skin cancer is a serious disease that silently affects many! Take these following precautions to protect your health and your loved ones! This disease hits so hard home for me. I want you all to be aware!

 

Spring Break Vacation is approaching! I understand you want a nice base tan before your trip, but there are dangers to that! Melanoma/Skin Cancer is a real issue!

Let's look at some ways you can prevent and detect skin cancer.

 

PREVENT

Cover up with clothes and sunscreen.

As a rule of thumb, cover up as much as possible. Be sure to wear a broad-brimmed hat and UV blocking sunglasses. Use broad spectrum (UVA/B) sunblock with SPF 15 or higher every day. If you’ll be active outdoors, opt for a water-resistant, UVA or UVB sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. (Sunscreens should be used on babies over six months of age.)

 

Avoid harsh sun and tanning.

Avoid getting a sunburned at all costs. Skip the tanning and never use UV tanning beds.

The sun is strongest between 10AM and 4PM, so try to avoid the sun during these hours and find some shade. Make sure to keep newborns out of the sun. I personally invested in a UV blocking beach tent. That way I can still enjoy the summer weather, but don't have to worry about the direct, harsh rays. I found mine on Amazon

 

DETECT

Perform a head-to-toe self exam.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends everyone practices a self examination every month.  Skin cancers found and removed early are, more often than not, curable. You may find having a doctor perform the initial examination will help assure you that any existing spots, moles or freckles are totally normal and treat any that aren’t. After that a routine self exam shouldn’t take you longer than 10 minutes.

 

 

Get your partner involved.

In addition to seeing your physician annually for a professional skin exam, have your partner keep an eye out for any changes in your skin. Sometimes they see parts of our bodies that we don’t see everyday (like the small of our back or behind your neck). Have a discussion about the importance of paying attention to changes in your skin and make sure you return the favor by keeping an eye on any changes on their skin.

 

TANNING BEDS

Never, ever go in a tanning bed! I get it, being tan looks better and makes you feel better. I know I personally lose 10 pounds when I look tan (just kidding..if only!). There are healthier options for getting a nice year-round tan. Spray tans and tanning lotions are very popular right now. Just look at your local drug store and all the product options they have. Tanning beds increase your risk for skin cancer after just one use! These intense UV rays are actually stronger than the sun's! These rays cause damage to your DNA and if they aren't repaired, skin cancer can result.

 

Going on vacation and want a good "base" so you don't burn?

Research shows this does nothing to prevent a sunburn! A "base" tan is basically equivalent to a SPF 3.

 

"But I need my Vitamin D in the winter"

Majority of tanning bed bulbs emit UVA radiation, and UVB radiation is needed for the body to produce vitamin D. The tanning industry misleads you into thinking their beds are good for your health! They just plain are not! Stick to a healthy diet and supplements for proper Vitamin D consumption.

 

Check out this great article for more information on the dangers of tanning beds:

https://www.melanoma.org/understand-melanoma/preventing-melanoma/why-is-tanning-dangerous

 

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