Your Epidermis is Showing
Community Health Works
A Regional Center for Health Innovation
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Most people enjoy getting a little sun! Sometimes humans can appear to be like a cold blooded tortoise sunning on a log on a warm day. A little sun does go a long way, and the benefits associated with the warmth of light come at a dangerous tradeoff. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and each year there are more new cases of cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. Skin cancer is often easily treated as an outpatient procedure by removal of the cancerous tumor or sun spot. Most skin cancers can be prevented by covering exposed skin, using sun screen, avoiding UV tanning booths, and examining your skin on a regular basis. On a sunny day, if your epidermis is showing then cancer is growing.

What is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer, caused by overexposure to the sun, is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., with most cases being an increasing number of people are developing a deadly form of skin cancer known as melanoma, the third most common form of skin cancer. About 193 people in Georgia die of melanoma every year.

What you can do to Prevent Skin Cancer?

  • Avoid sun exposure. Reduce exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest, and keep physical activities to a minimum during that time.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover the face and neck, and wear loose-fitting clothing to keep cool and to protect your skin from the sun.
  • Wear sunglasses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Chronic exposure to the sun can cause cataracts, which left untreated, can lead to blindness.
  • Liberally apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15) 15 minutes before venturing outdoors and re-apply at least every two hours – sunscreen prevents skin cancer, the number one cancer affecting Californians and prevents premature aging.
  • Check the UV Index: The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun.

What about Tanning Beds?

There is no such thing as a safe tan. Skin pigment (also called melanin), absorbs the energy of ultraviolet radiation (UV) and helps prevent harm to the skin cells. Tanning of the skin and the darkening of the melanin is a sign of damage.

 

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