Ladies: wearing sunscreen daily is key to youthful, healthy skin — and preventing skin cancer.
The sun: provider of Vitamin D, warm weather, and UV rays. Unfortunately, the latter is the root cause of the most common cancer in the U.S., skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, approximately 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer daily. The ADA also estimates that one out of five people in the U.S. will develop skin cancer in their life, and nonmelanoma skin cancer will affect approximately three million people annually.
Women have the highest risk of developing basal and squamous cell carcinoma, both forms of NMSC. Rates are higher for women before they reach age 50, though either type of skin cancer can form at any time. The ADA estimates one in 40 women will be affected by melanoma in their lifetime.
These statistics emphasize why sunscreen is one of the most important products women can use to protect their skin from the sun, and it should be used year-round, not just during the summer months.
How Sunscreen Works
Sunscreen is a topical lotion or spray that is created with either a mineral or chemical formula. Mineral sunscreens use ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to block and scatter UV rays before they penetrate your skin. Chemical sunscreens use ingredients like octisalate and avobenzone that act as a sponge to absorb UV rays before they cause damage to the skin.
The SPF rating on mineral or chemical sunscreens represents the length of time the sunscreen will protect your skin from sun damage in comparison to its normal rate. For example, SPF 30 will block UV rays 30 times as long as your skin would go undamaged without the use of sunscreen.
Prevent Skin Sun Damage and Reduce Cancer Risk
UV rays are present in the atmosphere every day — even when it’s cloudy — so it’s recommended to wear sunscreen regardless of the season. UV rays may be weaker during the fall and winter months, but they still cause skin damage.
Wearing sunscreen daily helps protect the skin from sunburn and premature aging and actively minimizes the risk of skin cancer. Premature aging may appear as age spots — areas on the skin that turn dark from repeat UV exposure — start to form along with wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of sun damage. Reaching for sunscreen each morning will reduce the chance of age spots and wrinkles forming, giving your skin a healthy, youthful appearance when aging into your senior years.
Daily sunscreen wear also makes many women feel confident about their skin’s health and beauty when they know they’ve taken precautions to protect it from the sun’s harmful rays.
Whether it be a lotion or spray, you should apply sunscreen generously and frequently. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily. For outdoor activities, reapply your sunblock after swimming, sweating and every two hours to maintain its protective strength.
If you are concerned about possibly having skin cancer, or a spot on your skin looks irregular, make an appointment and come see us at The Woman’s Clinic. We provide cancer screenings and can take a look at what’s bothering you.