Summer is practically here! With the warm weather comes sun-kissed skin. Everyone wants to have that natural, bronze glow, but are they aware of the cost?
The cost we’re talking about isn’t the gas money necessary to get to the beach. About 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every day, and more than two die of the disease every hour. In honor of National Skin Cancer Month, here are three facts you should know about melanoma before you soak up the UV rays this summer.
1. Sunburns increase your risk of melanoma.
Can you count the number of sunburns you’ve had? Your chances of getting melanoma double once you’ve had five or more sunburns. That means you should always lather on sunblock whenever you go outside for prolonged periods. Not only will wearing sunscreen help prevent skin cancer, but it will also prevent premature aging signs, such as wrinkles and sunspots. Take your sun protection one step further and only wear mineral-based sunscreen instead of chemical-laden ones.
2. Tanning beds increase your risk.
Tanning beds are worse for your skin than sunburns. Using a tanning bed just once increases your chances of getting melanoma by 75 percent. Our advice? Ditch the beds and opt for tanning lotions. Whether you try an at-home tanning solution or pay a professional to do it, you can have that bronzed skin you long for without risking sun damage or skin cancer. Just be sure to do your research and, whenever possible, choose a sunless tanning solution that has safe ingredients.
3. Melanoma is completely treatable IF caught early.
If you’ve already had your fair share of sun exposure and sun damage, it’s okay! The five-year survival rate for melanoma that is caught in the first stage is 99 percent! Schedule a yearly check-up with a dermatologist so that he or she can track any changes to your skin. Doing so will help you and your doctor catch any signs of melanoma early on and take the steps necessary to resolve it.
As summer is starting, remember to wear sunscreen daily, practice sunless tanning, and schedule regular check-ups with your dermatologist. Your skin will be happier, healthier, and shinier, all without the terrible expense of skin cancer.