I know May is quickly coming to a close but I can’t let it end without acknowledging that it is skin cancer awareness month. Did you know that your skin is your largest organ and that it requires care and upkeep just like your internal organs? Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and each year more than 2 MILLION people are diagnosed in the UNITED STATES. If you head over to the Skin Cancer Foundation some of the statistics will shock you. Here are some of the most staggering facts:
- Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime
- One person dies of melanoma every hour
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common skin cancer among African Americans and Asian Indians.
- Late-stage melanoma diagnoses are more prevalent among minority patients than Caucasian patients; 52 percent of non-Hispanic black patients and 26 percent of Hispanic patients receive an initial diagnosis of advanced stage melanoma, versus 16 percent of non-Hispanic white patients (It also is more fatal because of the late diagnosis)
I don’t know about you but this makes me want to bathe in sunscreen!!!! These facts are staggering and there are preventative measures you can take. Let’s start with sunscreen.
While researching this article I came across some interesting articles about ingredients. When selecting a sunscreen you want to look for titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide as active ingredients. While I’m not a doctor or part of the FDA there have been several warnings against oxybenzone as an active ingredient. In some instances ozybenzone has been linked to hormone disruption and cell damage that can lead to cancer. Unfortunately it’s a popular ingredient in many products. Some products without it are Coola and Neutrogena’s Pure and Free. Be sure that whatever product you buy that it is broad spectrum and it will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays which both cause skin cancer.
Many companies have powder and liquid foundations that have some level of SPF in it. However, according to Miami dermatologist Leslie Baumann it may not be wise to rely solely on these products for your SPF needs. According to Baumann you would have to apply 14 times the normal amount of your product in order to get the SPF listed on the bottle. There are oil free and non comedogenic broad spectrum sunscreen products that will not cause your skin to break out.
Be sure to protect your lips as well! After all it is covered with skin! Instead of using a lip gloss try a tinted lip balm of course with an SPF in it. Did you know that shiny glosses will reflect the sunlight which in turn can lead to an increased risk of a burn? The more you know!!!
Stay tuned to this series as we will cover cool ways to stay protected, what signs to look for on your body and will have a skin cancer survivor’s story!!!