The rates of skin cancer continue to climb. It is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., and nearly 10,000 people died from melanoma in 2012. To protect yourself, get the facts about skin cancer — and don’t fall victim to these common misconceptions:
MYTH: If I wear sunscreen every day, I won’t get enough vitamin D.
FACT: According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you don’t need more than five minutes in the sun to get all the vitamin D your body can produce. Not wearing sunscreen puts you at risk of skin cancer, including deadly melanoma. The safest way to get vitamin D is through diet and supplements.
MYTH: If it’s cloudy, I don’t need sunscreen.
FACT: Up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays make it easily through clouds — and to your skin. Wear sunscreen every day, even if it’s cloudy, raining, or snowing.
MYTH: Skin cancer doesn’t run in my family, so I don’t need to worry.
FACT: The rates of skin cancer are climbing, even among people who have no family history of skin cancer. Too much sun exposure over time, sunburns, not using sunscreen, and indoor tanning beds are some of the culprits. Regardless of your family history, see your physician for regular check-ups, including skin checks, and have anything abnormal checked out right away.
MYTH: I don’t have many moles, so I won’t get skin cancer.
FACT: Many skin cancers don’t begin from moles at all. They can appear as a sore, reddish patch, flesh-colored lump, scaly patch, or many other forms. That’s why it’s important to examine your skin regularly and look for any changes.
MYTH: I can use a tanning bed to get a “base tan,” which is healthier than going out in the sun.
FACT: Indoor tanning beds are a concentrated dose of ultraviolet radiation, and increase your risk of melanoma every time you use them. Studies have shown that the more you use tanning beds, the greater your risk of developing this potentially deadly cancer. Play it safe and don’t use tanning beds. If you like the sun-kissed look, consider using one of the many self-tanning products on the market today.
Reconstruction of areas that have been affected by skin cancer is a great way for skin cancer survivors to get their confidence back. Watch this video from Colorescience to learn how often you’re exposed to harmful UV rays on a daily basis. If you’d like more information about how we can help, please request a consultation with one of Monarch Plastic Surgery’s experienced surgeons today.