Dermatologists Urge Protecting Against Skin Cancer During Summer

Armen Hareyan's picture
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University Park Dermatology scientists are urging everyone to take safety measures against sun rays during this summer and to protect themselves from skin cancer.

According to American Academy of Dermatology predictions, about 1 million people will be affected by nonmelanoma skin cancer this year, about 1000 will probably die of the disease, and about 8420 people will die from melanoma. According to Skin Cancer Foundation statistics, bout 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers is caused by ultraviolet sun rays.

Therefore, protecting skin from sun rays is an important health issue for everyone especially during summer days. Health officials offer numerous skin protection measures, such as umbrellas, hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

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People are urged to wear appropriate clothing and hats to cover most of the body, especially the most sensitive parts, such as face, neck, and ears. Sunglasses are important to provide with proper ultraviolet protection. Sunglasses protecting from 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB radiation are the best. It doesn't matter how dark sunglasses are, because safety from sunrays comes from an invisible layer of a chemical, not from the color of lenses.

Health officials also urge everyone to be informed about sunscreens and the protection level they offer. A number mentioned on a sunscreen packaging means how long one can stay under the sun, ranging from 2 to 75. For example, if this figure is 10, this means that you may stay longer under the sun for 10 times more with the cream on than without it. Sunscreen must be applied 30 minutes before going out and must be re-applied once in two hours. The sunscreen level should be chosen according to one's skin sensitivity.

Those with most sensitive skin can have an option of applying sunblocks. Sunscreens are aimed at filtering the dangerous ultraviolet rays and allowing some rays to reach the skin. Sunblocks are not letting any rays in simply reflecting all ultraviolet rays from the skin thanks to metallic materials contained in it.

Health officials also warn that tanning beds also have bad impact on the skin. Therefore, everyone should put their health the first, but not beauty. It is known that a tanned skin is a sign of health, but the fact is that aggressive tanning, both natural and in salons, can lead to serious skin problems.

Everyone is urged to regularly monitor skin changes and consult doctors if there are any suspicious spots on the skin. Therefore, people should have regular skin check-ups after their 20s, especially if they are usually spending lots of time under the sun or if they have family background for skin cancer. Melanoma is 95% curable if diagnosed early, and this is one more factors proving the importance of regular skin screenings.

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