Common Mistakes In Self-Diagnosing Skin Cancer

When it comes to melanoma, the world's most serious type of skin cancer, early detection is imperative. We recommend doing a thorough at-home skin exam. Pay close attention to new and old moles, freckles and spots that seem to be changing in size, shape and/or color.

Below are some common mistakes in self-diagnosing skin cancer, as well as knowing the types of skin markings on the body, called the ABCDE's of Melanoma. 

 

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5 Key Facts About Skin Cancer

1. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.

2. An estimated one in five Americans will develop one of the types of skin cancer (such as melanoma) by age 70.

3. People of all ages can get skin cancer.

4. Skin cancer is most common in people older than 50 and who have a family history of skin cancer. 

5. Most skin cancers can be cured if they're caught early.

*These facts were published on the Skin Cancer Foundation website. 

Burning Truth: Is A Higher SPF Better?

Q: Is a higher SPF better to use? 

A: According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is best for your skin. 

Higher SPFs don't provide that much additional protection. An SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93 percent of UVB radiation, while an SPF 30 sunscreen blocks nearly 97 percent. And, an SPF 50 blocks an estimated 98 percent of UVB rays. 

According to the FDA, "there is not sufficient data to show that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide greater protection for users than products with SPF values of 50.” 

Relying solely on a high SPF (like 50 or 100) can lead to a sunburn –– causing the consumer to not apply enough sunscreen (should be a shot glass full). No matter what SPF you are using, always remember to reapply every two hours

 

 

How Common Is Melanoma?

The American Cancer Society estimates for melanoma in the United States for 2018 are:

  • About 91,270 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 55,150 in men and 36,120 in women).
  • About 9,320 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 5,990 men and 3,330 women).

The rates of melanoma have been rising for the last 30 years.

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Toady is Global Running Day

The world's largest running party is today. Global Running Day encourages everyone to get moving and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. 

In 2006, Austrian researchers reported marathon runners face an increased risk of skin cancer because of long sun exposure. Stay sun protected today and throughout all your runs with these five tips: 

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1. Wear sunscreen

Apply a waterproof, sweat resistant sunscreen 15-20 minutes prior to your run. This will ensure your sunscreen has absorbed properly. 

2. Opt for a Sunburn Alert UV Wristband

This will help you remember when it's time to reapply. Many runners forget to reapply, causing them to get a sunburn hours after their run. The UV Wristband will be your friendly reminder. Carry a small tube of sunscreen in your pocket or running belt. 

3. Don't forget a hat

Wear a baseball cap or visor to ensure your face is staying protected from the sun. 

4. Don't run in the heat of the day

Avoid the summer heat by choosing to do your runs in the morning or evening. The temperatures will be cooler –– causing you not get overheated. 

5. Protect your eyes

This is so important! Wear running glasses that sit snug on your nose and opt for UPF protective clothing.  

One Blistering Sunburn

One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person's chances of developing melanoma later in life, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. 

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You have an 80% increased risk of developing melanoma if you have had five or more blistering sunburns between the ages of 15 and 20. 

Indoor Tanning Is Addictive | Sun Safe Study

Earlier this year, The Skin Cancer Foundation published an article highlighting a new study on tanning beds. The study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, discovered "one in five young white women who have used a tanning bed in the past year exhibit signs of dependence on the activity."

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The participants in the study labeled as 'addicted' strongly believed in the mood-boosting benefits they experienced after an indoor tanning session. They explained how it made them look better and feel great. These 'addicted' women showed signs of depression when the tan faded. 

Indoor tanning has been around for decades. In 2010, the indoor tanning industry's revenue was estimated to be $2.6 billion. 

Here are some shocking statistics and facts on indoor tanning: 

1. Out of the 28 million people who tan indoors, 2.3 million are teens.

2. Melanoma rates have increased in the last three decades. About 76,100 US adults will be diagnosed with this type of cancer in 2014. About 9,710 are expected to die from the disease.

3. 58% of adolescent tanning bed users have burns due to constant exposure.

4. Using a tanning bed for 20 minutes is equivalent to spending one to three hours a day at the beach with no sun protection at all.

Our top tip: Opt for a sunless tanner spray or tinted sunscreen to achieve that faux-glow all summer long. Your skin will thank you. 

Conclusion: UV tanning can become addictive

The ABCDE's of Melanoma | Melanoma Awareness Month

When it comes to melanoma, the world's most serious type of skin cancer, early detection is imperative. 

Melanoma can be cured if found and treated early. 

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Here are the types of skin markings on the body to look for in an easy way to remember we call, the ABCDE's of Melanoma: 

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A- ASYMMETRICAL SHAPE: MELANOMA LESIONS ARE OFTEN IRREGULAR, OR NOT SYMMETRICAL, IN SHAPE. BENIGN MOLES ARE USUALLY SYMMETRICAL.

B- BORDER: TYPICALLY, NON-CANCEROUS MOLES HAVE SMOOTH, EVEN BORDERS. MELANOMA LESIONS USUALLY HAVE IRREGULAR BORDERS THAT ARE DIFFICULT TO DEFINE.

C- COLOR: THE PRESENCE OF MORE THAN ONE COLOR (BLUE, BLACK, BROWN, TAN, ETC.) OR THE UNEVEN DISTRIBUTION OF COLOR CAN SOMETIMES BE A WARNING SIGN OF MELANOMA. BENIGN MOLES ARE USUALLY A SINGLE SHADE OF BROWN OR TAN.

D- DIAMETER: MELANOMA LESIONS ARE OFTEN GREATER THAN 6 MILLIMETERS IN DIAMETER (APPROXIMATELY THE SIZE OF A PENCIL ERASER).

E- EVOLUTION: THE EVOLUTION OF YOUR MOLE(S) HAS BECOME THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR TO CONSIDER WHEN IT COMES TO DIAGNOSING A MELANOMA. KNOWING WHAT IS NORMAL FOR YOU COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE. IF A MOLE HAS GONE THROUGH RECENT CHANGES IN COLOR AND/OR SIZE, BRING IT TO THE ATTENTION OF A DERMATOLOGIST IMMEDIATELY. 

If you see one or more of these markings on your skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist immediately. Catching melanoma early can make the difference between life and death. See your dermatologist regularly for skin screenings. 

You can also use the Ugly Duckling test to spot any suspicious markings on the body. If you're seeing a mole or marking that doesn't look like the rest, then that's a red flag. Get your skin checked immediately by a dermatologist

Please note: Not all melanomas fall within the ABCDE parameters so visit your dermatologist regularly to catch any potential issues early.

SHOP your UV Wristbands and Stickers to help keep your family protected all summer long!