Skin care should be a priority for yourself as well as your loved ones! Prevention, awareness, education, sharing, and early detection are crucial to ensuring that you live a long happy life. No matter where you are in life with your skin health history, you need to take care of yourself. One would expect that melanoma survivors above all others would do their part to stay out of the sun, lather up that sunscreen, and avoid tanning beds. However, as we will learn, everyone has room to improve.
A recent study found that 20% of melanoma survivors 1 have gotten a sunburn in the past year! Although many participants said that protecting themselves from UV rays was important, some weren’t following their own advice. Researchers are trying to understand why survivors aren’t taking better care of their skin. Although there isn’t a clear answer, some are guessing that people are struggling to implement skin-smart actions into their daily lives- the intentions are there, but the determination to follow through is not.
Although these findings may seem discouraging, remember to look on the bright side. Even though melanoma survivors should be doing more to avoid the sun, they still got roughly 10% less sunburns2 that those who had never experienced skin cancer. There is definitely room for improvement, but it’s great that they are taking a step in the right direction!
We can all agree that it’s important to manage your skin health. But what about the skin health of those you care about? Researchers found that over 50%3 of kids in the US have experienced a sunburn within the past year! It’s essential to protect your children from the sun so that their skin doesn’t get damaged. Getting even one bad burn in your childhood greatly increases your risk4 of skin cancer later in life. It’s important to help your children form the habit of protecting their skin against the sun at a young age!
The question becomes, “How can I change my skin health habits for the better?”
There are many things you can do to help prevent sunburns in both yourself and your loved ones, regardless of your skin health history. Some of you may already know these steps, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable. Things like:
Prevention- sunscreen, wearing a hat, avoiding the sun from 10:00am-4:00pm when it’s at its brightest, and finding shade when you are outside are all things you can do to prevent a bad burn
Education- learn all that you can about sun safety and skin cancer, and about the symptoms of different types of skin cancer like Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) so you can be ready
Awareness- understand that skin cancer can happen to anyone. Do your part to stay safe through making healthy lifestyle choices. Don’t wait for a surprise and catch yourself saying, “I didn’t think it would happen to me”
Sharing- once you know all that you can about sun safety, spread your knowledge! The best thing you can do to help others is share what you know, and give your support to others so they can follow your example
With steps like these, everyone can do their part to develop healthy skin habits and prevent skin cancer. Some useful sites are:
SkinCancer.org5- offers helpful tools and information to help you protect your skin to the best of your ability.
It’s My Life! Stop Cancer Before It Starts6- a prevention tool on Canadian Cancer Society’s website to learn about what you can do to prevent skin cancer.
It’s Not Going to Happen to Me, Right?7- a helpful MoleScope blog post which offers even more resources about preventing and identifying skin cancer.
Everyone deserves to live a long and happy life. What will you do to make sure that happens? Make the choice to live a healthy lifestyle with small everyday changes. It will add up to a big difference. Your family, friends, and skin will thank you!
Want to learn more? Click below to download more helpful resources!
The MetaOptima Team