Have fun in the shade
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
You might tan easily and have a healthy glow, so does that mean you’re not at risk for skin cancer? Not at all. Always. Wear. Sunscreen. Why? Anyone can get skin cancer, but there are certain characteristics that make you a greater risk. Consider spending more time in the shade if you have:
A lighter, natural skin color.
Skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun.
Blue or green eyes.
Blond or red hair.
Certain types and a large number of moles.
A family history of skin cancer.
A personal history of skin cancer.
Are older in age.
Regardless of whether you have any of the risk factors listed above, reducing your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can help keep your skin healthy and lower your chances of getting skin cancer. Most people get at least some UV exposure from the sun when they spend time outdoors. Making sun protection an everyday habit will help you avoid getting a sunburn, and lower your skin cancer risk.
There’s no such thing as a healthy tan
A tan does not indicate good health. A tan is your skin’s response to injury, because skin cells signal that they have been hurt by UV rays by producing more pigment. Any change in skin color after UV exposure, whether it’s a tan or a burn, is a sign of injury. UV exposure can also change skin texture, cause the skin to age prematurely, cause cataracts and cancers of the eye (ocular melanoma).
In addition to causing sunburn, too much exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types of skin cancer, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, are highly curable but can be disfiguring and costly to treat. Melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is more dangerous and causes the most deaths. Most of these three types of skin cancer are caused by overexposure to UV light. No matter how sensitive your skin is to the sun, it’s important to protect yourself from UV rays.
Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.