Skin Cancer 101

If you thinking about going outdoors without protecting your skin from the sun you have another thing coming. The sun has powerful ultraviolet rays that negatively affect the skin.

Skin cancer is one of the most common concerns when being exposed to ultraviolet rays. There are two types of ultraviolet rays:

UVA Rays are responsible for ageing the skin. They penetrate the deepest and can therefor destroy essentials like collagen and elastin without these your skin will sag and lack elasticity. UVA rays are the same rays used in tanning beds which is why those who tan tend to age at a faster rate than those who do not.

UVB Rays are the reason why your skin burns when being exposed to the sun. Although UVA rays don’t reach as deep in the skin as the dermis it ca still damage skin cells.

Both UVA and UVB rays cause skin cancer. Most people are unaware of how serious skin cancer can be since it isn’t mentioned as much as other types of cancer. Here are a few facts that highlight just how serious skin cancer is.

  1. Ultraviolet rays can pass through both clouds and windows.
  2. Every hour one person in the United States dies fro skin cancer.
  3. 90% of skin cancer are due to sun exposure.
  4. 1.3 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer per year.
  5. More young women die from skin cancer than breast cancer.

Unsure of what symptoms suggest a possible case of skin cancer? Look for things like:

  • Firm red nodules
  • Flat lesion with a scaly texture
  • Large brown spots
  • A mole that changes or bleeds
  • Dark lesions

There are many other signs of skin cancer, for a detailed list visit the Mayo Clinic website.

The sun’s rays also have positive effects on the body, they can:

  • Eliminate waste
  • increases the flow of blood and lymph
  • Provides the skin with vitamin D
  • Banishes bacteria

Despite these positives one should still wear sun screen. The FDA recommends you coat yourself twice to ensure all spots are covered.