Exposure to ultraviolet light is the primary cause of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers and premature aging. Both of these can be largely avoided by protecting the skin from ultraviolet rays – whether from the sun or tanning beds. If you’re going to be outdoors one of the best things you can do to protect your skin is to wear sunscreen. Wearing protective clothing and avoiding the sun at the hottest times of the day (10 am – 4 pm) can also reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.
With so many options, numbers and phrases on sunscreen packages, going to the store to choose the one that’s best for you can be overwhelming. Here are some things to help you understand what you’re reading on a sunscreen label.
One of the reasons we live in Arizona is to enjoy the great weather and outdoor activities that we love. But it’s important to remember your skin as you make plans for fun – especially with the more intense summer sun.
Not to be a summer-fun sponge, but skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. An estimated one in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives and that more than 9,700 Americans will die in 2017 from melanoma – the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun significantly increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
Is Melanoma Genetic?
Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It forms in the cells that produce melanin, which is the substance responsible for your skin’s color. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) from the sun or tanning beds increases the risk of developing any skin cancer. In the case of melanoma, experts say there’s also a strong link between genetics (your family history) and your risk of developing melanoma.
More than two million people in the United States will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year. It is the most common form of cancer in this country, but it is also one of the most preventable. As part of Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May, Arizona Oncology reminds the community about the importance of protecting their skin from the sun and other sources of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
UV rays are invisible to the naked eye and are more intense in the summer, at higher altitudes, and in areas closer to the equator. Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes sunburn (erythema), skin cancer, premature aging (skin wrinkling), cataracts (gradual clouding of the lens of the eye), immune system suppression, DNA damage and dilated blood vessels.