Listen To Your Skin!
Listen To Your Skin!
If your skin could talk, it would tell you a lot. Remember that really bad, blistering sunburn? Ouch! And what about all those trips to the tanning salon? Ouch again! If you’ve been spending too much time in the sun (or in a tanning bed) without taking care of your skin, now is the time to start listening.
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer, accounting for one-third of all cancers in the United States. That translates to more than one million skin cancers diagnosed each year – more than cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, colon, uterus, ovaries, and pancreas combined.
Sun exposure adds up day after day, not just when you go to the pool or beach. Fortunately, you can take steps to minimize the harmful effects of the sun and help prevent skin cancer or catch it early before it spreads.
Limit your outside time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense. Don’t forget that UV rays can pass through clouds or water, and reflect off sand or snow, increasing the amount of UV intensity.
Wear clothes to cover up as much skin as possible. Dark colors and dry, tightly woven fabrics usually provide more protection against harmful rays.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat that protects your neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp.
Apply sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher to dry skin at least 30 minutes before going outside. Use at least an ounce for adequate coverage and reapply every two hours. Don’t forget sunscreen lip balm.
Wear sunglasses to block UV rays. Look for labels that say “UV absorption up to 400 nm” or “Meets ANSI UV Requirements.” These glasses block 100 percent and 99 percent of UV rays, respectively.
Steer clear of tanning beds and sunlamps.
Your skin is feeling better already. But while you are doing your part to pamper the largest organ in your body, you may still be at risk for developing skin cancer. Approximately 10 percent of people who develop melanoma (a potentially deadly form of skin cancer) inherit genes that cause the disease. Other inherited traits that can contribute to developing skin cancer include having fair skin and light hair and/or eyes.
If you notice a suspicious mole or spot, keep in mind the ABCDs of melanoma detection.
“A” is for asymmetry. One half of the mole does not match the other half.
“B” is for border. The edge of the spot may be irregular or blurred.
“C” is for color. The mole may not be the same color all over.
“D” is for diameter. The spot is approximately 6 millimeters across (about the size of a pencil eraser).
Anyone can develop skin cancer. That’s why it is so important to examine your skin for suspicious moles or other spots. Even if you have spent a lifetime in the sun or even developed skin cancer, it’s never too late to start protecting your skin. Hear something? It’s your skin saying “thank you.”
Article provided to the La Quinta Chamber of Commerce – GEM Publication August 2007 page 17.
About the Author
Jeff has been the CEO of Senior.com for 12 years. Senior.com has grown under Jeff’s leadership, in fact when the website was first launched, the member base grew form Zero to over 700,000 in less the 3 years. Current, has over 1,600,000 registered members.
Jeff received his MBA degree in Managerial Finance and Investor Relations from the University of Phoenix and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Finance and Accounting from California State University, Fullerton.View All Articles