May 27, 2020 7 min read

 

 

Skin cancer often gets dismissed but must not be overlooked as millions of cases of skin cancer are being diagnosed and treated each year. The numbers say it all:

 

Fact #1:

1 in 5 Americans are at risk for developing skin cancer over their lifetime, with ½ of those living to 65 years old being diagnosed with basal and squamous cell skin cancer.

 

Fact #2:

Many cases of skin cancer can be prevented as sunscreen with a SPF 30 or more has the ability to block 97% of UV rays and prevent melanoma, basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma.

 

 

 

 

Fact #3:

In 2019, there were approximately 7,200 deaths due to melanoma.

 

Fact #4:

There is no such thing as safe-tanning! Indoor tanners (tanning salon goers) have a 60% increase risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.

 

Fact #5:

You can’t start too young – Starting sun protection before the age of 18 can prevent 78% of some skin cancers. 

 

 

How to Protect Yourself

To protect yourself from the sun’s damaging UV rays, avoiding sun exposure is the best line of defense. But, if you must go out in the sun, we recommend the following:

  • Avoid going outdoors during peak sunshine hours (10 a.m. - 4 p.m.).
  • Stay in the shade if at all possible or use an umbrella to create your own.
  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours with outdoor activity, swimming, and perspiration. 
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Wear oversized sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection for your eyes as well as the delicate the eye contour.
  • Wear sun protective clothing (look those with a high UPF factor).

 

 

SPF Decoded

When askedwhich skincare product is the most important one to use, most dermatologists say sunscreen is thenumber 1 skin care product not to be missed. But which SPF to choose?


A SPF rating, or number, indicates how long you can be out in the sun before burning.  A SPF of 30 is the recommended minimum, as that means you can be exposed to the sun 30 times longer without burning than if you neglected to apply sunscreen. So, why not go ahead and use the “more is better” philosophy and use a SPF 50? Using a SPF of 50 is something that is debated as this higher rating gives people a false sense of protection, causing many to skip reapplication.


However, moreis better when it comes to how much to use. It may seem like a lot but, 2 Tablespoons is the suggested amount to apply 30 minutes before heading outside for maximum results.

 

 

Beyond SPF

For truly healthy, protected skin, dermatologists recommend thatdaily face care at home begins with a gentlecleanser followed by theuse of moisturizer or asimple skin cream to seal in moisture. 


If you want to give your skin added protection, anantioxidant cream with vitamin C is another greatskin care solution to give you added defense against damaging free radicals. Some studies show that green tea extract, anotherexcellent skin care ingredient, may also protect you from skin cancer. 


Remember if you don’t have a M.D. after your name, please don’t self-diagnose! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

Livewell.orgJohn Stoddard Cancer Center, Des Moines,May 2, 2019

“25 Skin Cancer Facts that will Make You Never Forget to Wear Sunscreen Again”  

https://www.aladerm.com/medical-dermatology/skin-cancer/

Radiance By Web MD “Choosing Skin Care Products: Know Your Ingredients”

AAD.orgAmerican Academy of Dermatology, “Skin Cancer”

https://www.aad.org/media/stats-skin-cancer


American Academy of Dermatology Article References:

1Guy GP, Thomas CC, Thompson T, Watson M, Massetti GM, Richardson LC. Vital signs: Melanoma incidence and mortality trends and projections—United States, 1982–2030. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64(21):591-596.

2Guy GP, Machlin S, Ekwueme DU, Yabroff KR. Prevalence and costs of skin cancer treatment in the US, 2002–2006 and 2007–2011. Am J Prev Med. 2015;48:183–7.

3Stern RS. Prevalence of a history of skin cancer in 2007: results of an incidence-based model. Arch Dermatol. 2010 Mar;146(3):279-82.

4Robinson JK. Sun Exposure, Sun Protection, and Vitamin D. JAMA 2005; 294: 1541-43.

5Rogers HW, Weinstock MA, Feldman SR, Coldiron BM. Incidence estimate of nonmelanoma skin cancer (keratinocyte carcinomas) in the US population. JAMA Dermatol. Published online April 30, 2015.

6American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2019. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2019.

7Siegel RL, Miller KD, Jemal A. Cancer statistics, 2019. CA Cancer J Clin. 2019; doi: 10.3322/caac.21551.

8American Academy of Dermatology/Milliman. Burden of Skin Disease. 2017. www.aad.org/BSD.

9Muzic, JG et al. Incidence and Trends of Basal Cell Carcinoma and Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A Population-Based Study in Olmstead County, Minnesota, 2000-2010. Mayo Clin Proc. Published Online May 15, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2017.02.015

10SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Melanoma of the Skin. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/melan.html

11Little EG, Eide MJ. Update on the current state of melanoma incidence. Dermatol Clin. 2012:30(3):355-61.

12Agbai ON, Buster K, Sanchez M, Hernandez C, Kundu RV, Chiu M, Roberts WE, Draelos ZD, Bhushan R, Taylor SC, Lim HW. Skin cancer and photoprotection in people of color: a review and recommendations for physicians and the public. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014;70(4):748-62.

​13Dawes SM et al. Racial disparities in melanoma survival. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016 Nov; 75(5):983-991.

14Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program 18 registries. Data run July 25, 2018.

15Noone AM, Howlader N, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2015, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2015/, based on November 2017 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2018.

16Reed KB et al. Increasing Incidence of Melanoma among Young Adults: An Epidemiological Study in Olmsted County, Minnesota. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2012; 87 (4): 328–334.

17Neville JA, Welch E, Leffell DJ. Management of nonmelanoma skin cancer in 2007. Nat Clin Pract Oncol 2007; 4(8):462-9.  

18Gamba CS, Clarke CA, Keegan TM, et al. Melanoma Survival Disadvantage in Young, Non-Hispanic White Males Compared With Females. JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(8):912-920. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.4408

19Wehner MR et al. All-cause mortality in patients with basal and squamous cell carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2018: 78 (4): 663 - 672.e3

20Arnold M, Kvaskoff M, Thuret A, Guenel P, Bray F and Soerjomatarm I. Cutaneous melanoma in France in 2015 attributable to solar ultraviolet radiation and the use of sunbeds. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. Published online April 16, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.15022​

21Arnold M et al. Global burden of cutaneous melanoma attributable to ultraviolet radiation in 2012. Int J Cancer. 2018 April. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijc.31527.

22Parkin DM, Mesher D and Sasieni P. Cancers attributable to solar (ultraviolet) radiation exposure in the UK in 2010. British Journal of Cancer. 2011. 105 (S66–S69) doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.486.

23Lin JS, Eder M, Weinmann S. Behavioral counseling to prevent skin cancer: asystematic review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med.2011 Feb 1;154(3):190-201. Review.

24Green AC, Williams GM, Logan V, Strutton GM. Reduced melanoma after regular sunscreen use: randomized trial follow-up J Clin Oncol Jan 20, 2011:257-263; published online on December 6, 2010.

25Watts CG, Drummond M, Goumas C, et al. Sunscreen Use and Melanoma Risk Among Young Australian Adults. JAMA Dermatol. Published online July 18, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.1774

26CDC. Sunburn and sun protective behaviors among adults aged 18–29 years—United States, 2000–2010. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2012;61:317–22.

27Dennis, Leslie K. et al. “Sunburns and Risk of Cutaneous Melanoma, Does Age Matter: A Comprehensive MetaAnalysis.” Annals of epidemiology 18.8 (2008): 614–627.

28Wu S, Han J, Laden F, Qureshi AA. Long-term ultraviolet flux, other potential risk factors, and skin cancer risk: a cohort study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomar Prev; 2014. 23(6); 1080-1089.

29Ting W, Schultz K, Cac NN, Peterson M, Walling HW. Tanning bed exposure increases the risk of malignant melanoma. Int J Dermatol. 2007 Dec;46(12):1253-7.

30Colantonio S, Bracken MB, Beecker J. The association of indoor tanning and melanoma in adults: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Acad Dermatol 2014;70:847–57. 

31Wehner M, Chren M-M, Nameth D, et al. International prevalence of indoor tanning: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatol 2014; 150(4):390-400. Doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.6896.

32Wehner MR, Shive ML, Chren MM, Han J, Qureshi AA, Linos E. Indoor tanning and non-melanoma skin cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2012 Oct 2;345:e5909. 

33Gandini S, Sera F, Cattaruzza MS, Pasquini P, Picconi O, Boyle P, Melchi CF. Meta-analysis of risk factors for cutaneous melanoma: II. Sun exposure. Eur J Cancer. 2005 Jan;41(1):45-60.

34Bradford PT, Freedman DM, Goldstein AM, Tucker MA. Increased risk of second primary cancers after a diagnosis of melanoma. Arch Dermatol. 2010 Mar;146(3):265-72.

35Song F, Qureshi AA, Giovannucci EL, et al. (2013) Risk of a Second Primary Cancer after Non-melanoma Skin Cancer in White Men and Women: A Prospective Cohort Study. PLoS Med 10(4): e1001433. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001433

36Cai ED, Swetter SM and Sarin KY. Association of multiple primary melanomas with malignancy risk: a population-based analysis of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program database from 1973-2014. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Published online Oct. 1, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2018.09.027

37Avilés-Izquierdo JA, Molina-López I, Rodríguez-Lomba E, Marquez-Rodas I, Suarez-Fernandez R, Lazaro-Ochaita P. Who detects melanoma? Impact of detection patterns on characteristics and prognosis of patients with melanoma. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016; 75(5):967-974.

38Cheng MY, Moreau JF, McGuire ST, Ho J, Ferris LK. Melanoma depth in patients with an established dermatologist. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2014; 70(5):841-846.

39Brady MS, Oliveria SA, Christos PJ, et al. Patterns of detection in patients with cutaneous melanoma. Cancer. 2000;89:342-347.

40Epstein DS, Lange JR, Gruber SB, et al. Is Physician Detection Associated With Thinner Melanomas? JAMA. 1999;281(7):640-643.

41Koh HK, Miller DR, Geller AC, et al. Who discovers melanoma? Patterns from a population-based survey. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 1992;26:914-919.

​42Berg A. Screening for skin cancer. US Preventive Services Task Force, 2007.

43Guy GP, Berkowitz Z and Watson M. Estimated Cost of Sunburn-Associated Visits to US Hospital Emergency Departments. JAMA Dermatology. 2017. 153 (1): 90-92.  

 

 



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