These 2 types of skin cancer are on the rise
*Slathers self in sunscreen*
When was the last time you went outside and put sunscreen all over your body, outside of a beach day? For most people, regular SPF protection on your face is a no-brainer. But a new study by the medical research nonprofit Mayo Clinic makes a strong case for a regular all-body sunscreen routine.
As reported by Allure, a Mayo Clinic-led research team discovered that new diagnoses of two types of skin cancer are increasing at pretty startling rates. Between 2000 and 2010, new basal cell carcinoma (BCC) diagnoses rose 145%, and new squamous cell/cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) diagnoses rose 263%.
When compared to earlier decades of skin cancer research, women across the board bore longer-term increases in carcinoma diagnoses: Women 30-49 experienced the greatest increase in BCC diagnoses; whereas, women 40-59 and 70-79 experienced the greatest increase in SCC.
Meanwhile, the rate of new diagnoses for SCC for men dropped between 2000 and 2010, but rates of new diagnoses for BCC remained similar to earlier decades’.
BCCs and SCCs are the first and second most prevalent form of skin cancer, respectively. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, BCCs look like “open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars,” while SCCs look like “scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed.”
Unlike rarer but scarier forms of skin cancer like melanomas, BCCs and SCCs usually don’t spread. But with all skin cancers, the key is not only early detection of potentially cancerous skin changes but also prevention.
If there’s one absolute skin care rule: no tanning, artificial or otherwise. When interviewed by Allure, Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, an Associate Clinical Professor at the Department of Dermatology at the George Washington University Medical Center laid down some tanning real talk: “Every time you get tan the skin is saying ‘S.O.S! I’m being damaged so I’ll get darker.’ There is NO level of tanning that is safe and does not cause damage to the skin. Getting a tan is getting skin damage, and that damage can come back to bite you in the form of skin cancer.”
She and other skin experts recommend regular applications of sunscreen (every two or three hours), hats, and sunglasses, as well as seeking shade during the sun’s strongest hours, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (And, just because it’s not sunny out, doesn’t mean that the sun’s rays aren’t still hitting your skin.)
Of course, this isn’t a call to arms to never go in the sun again. But there’s no harm in, and much to be gained by, staying proactive and informed about your skin.
It’s not too late to start protecting your skin from sun and other damaging factors.
From: Elle USA
How to prevent skin damage in summer
A combination of air pollution and UV radiation damages melanocytes, and accelerates the ageing process. Early morning walkers need to be particularly careful as the air quality index is the worst at this time. Avoid spending long periods under the sun as this can aggravate sun-mediated damage. Use a good sunscreen like the Antihelios XL SPF 50+ which is 100% hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic (does not cause acne) and has a high concentration of La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, perfect for sensitive skin. Another favourite is Effaclar H Gel from La Roche Posay. The soothing moisturizer is fragrance-free, non-oily and perfect for most skin types. If you have excessively sensitive skin, opt for La Toleraine Ultra light moisturizer.
Make-up prevents the skin from breathing, so removing it the minute you get home with a gentle cleanser is imperative. If you prefer to go the natural route, coconut oil or baby oil is an effective remover.
Air pollution in urban areas and in areas with high concentrations of ozone depletes the levels of vitamin E in the stratum corneum (outermost layer of the epidermis). Vitamin E is an antioxidant and lipid that helps maintain the skin’s barrier function by fighting free radicals and inhibiting oxidation. It's crucial in keeping toxins out of the body for which the antioxidants help a great deal. Degradation of vitamin E weakens the barrier, which increases the risk of formation of harmful chemicals and inflammatory responses in the underlying skin layers. Add foods rich in antioxidants to your diet like green tea, red wine and strawberries among other fruits and vegetables like bananas, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and green leafy vegetables.
Of course your grandmother has cried herself hoarse telling you to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Supplement all the water you're drinking by making sure your skin is moisturised from the outside. Stock up on facial mists and water-based moisturisers. And don't forget to cover up when you're outdoors, this helps add another protective layer to your skin.