As we’re coming into the melting summer months of Florida, we wanted to discuss a topic that we are extremely passionate about and know can be somewhat of an overly-exhausted topic for many: Skin Cancer.
We are constantly flooded with information about Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, etc. All of these cancers that are caused by genetics, or some unknown source or factor and are unpredictable and not always preventable. Skin Cancer may not always be in the spotlight, however, we think it’s one of the most terrifying cancers to date and the crazy part is that so many cases are completely preventable. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, Skin Cancer is now the most common cancer in the United States with over 5 million cases diagnosed each year. About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 85 percent of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to the sun.
As a staff of providers dedicated to achieving your aesthetic goals and treating all of your concerns, we know that health and beauty go hand in hand. And while we don’t want to preach, we do always want to educate. So we wanted to touch base and inform everyone about the different types of skin cancer, what it means to be diagnosed, and how to help prevent it.
The most common types of cancer are Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), and Melanoma, with BCC’s being the most common type, coming in at 4 of the 5 million cases diagnosed in the US yearly.
Basal Cell Carcinoma – Most common form of skin cancer. BCC’s often look like pink growths, red patches, shiny bumps, or even just a scar. BCC’s almost never spread from the original site and only in very rare cases has it ever become life-threatening. This may not seem like a big deal, but it still needs to be treated as it can end up becoming disfiguring if not treated promptly.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma – Second most common form of skin cancer. SCC’s often look like scaly red patches, warts, elevated growths, or open sores. They may have a tendency to sometimes crust or bleed. If given the chance and not treated, they can sometimes become deadly. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that there are 115 cases diagnosed every single hour in the US, and that more than 15,000 Americans die each year from SCC. These numbers have increased 200% in the past 3 decades.
Melanoma – Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. These cancerous growths develop when un-repaired DNA damage to skin cells (tanning beds and being in the sun too long!) trigger mutations that provoke the skin cells to multiply at a rapid pace and form malignant tumors. They often appear as asymmetrical moles and are usually black or brown, yet sometimes will be skin-colored, pink, red, purple, white, or even blue! If melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable. If it’s not, it can spread to other parts of the body quite quickly and become fatal. The Skin Cancer Foundation predicts that 7,230 people will die from Melanoma in 2019.
So what can you do to keep your skin healthy and glowing? We’re so glad you asked!
Sunscreen! (And yes! The sunscreen you use DOES matter!)
- Make sure you’re using a Mineral + Chemical Sunscreen
- Mineral (physical) filters sit on top of the skin and block UVA/UVB rays. Think about the mineral filter as a shield! Zinc oxide is a natural mineral filter.
- Chemical (organic) filters penetrate the skin to scatter and absorb UVA/UVB rays. Think about the chemical filters as a sponge!
What does SPF even do or mean? Is using a higher SPF actually better?
- SPF = Sun Protection Factor
- The SPF number tells you how long the sun’s UV radiation would take to start burning your skin versus the amount of time it would take without using any sunscreen.
- So for instance, if you use SPF 30 it would take you 30 times longer to burn than if you weren’t wearing any sunscreen! The higher the SPF number, the less percentage of UV rays are allowed to penetrate your skin which offer you more protection.
- Don’t think you can just put your sunscreen on and you’re good for the day though! Reapplying is essential, so please always follow the instructions.
Schedule a complimentary skin evaluation with our Licensed Clinical Esthetician.
– It is our ultimate goal to help you feel beautiful and confident in the skin you’re in, as well as making sure it’s healthy. Schedule a complimentary evaluation and let us create a treatment plan along with the perfect daily product regimen! (239)500-SPAS (7727)
Keep sun exposure to a minimum!
- We know and we won’t argue it! The sun provides plenty of health benefits. It keeps our planet warm, and our plants healthy. Sunshine touching our skin is a trigger that provokes our bodies to make Vitamin D which is absolutely essential for our well-being.
- However, 30 minutes of sun a day is more than enough to get this healthy dose in and chances are that you’re getting it without even thinking about it. (I.E. Any time you’re walking from the car to the house, or driving, or near a window, etc.)
- So for the rest of the time, wear a hat, try to hang out in shady areas, and if you can’t handle hiding from the sun, don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
Visit the Dermatologist yearly & keep an eye on any spots or moles on your body that may have changed in shape, size, or color!
Not so fun fact:
- Did you know that your driver’s side is exposed to the sun more frequently and that having dark spots and loss of laxity is more visibly common on that side as we age? So even though you may not be a beach bum, you’re still exposed to the sun daily and need sunscreen coverage.