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Skin Protection — Fact or Fiction

Everyone likes to get out of the city in the summer, and a prime destination is the Shore or Long Island. Either place, you’re going to get lots of sun. So, what do you know about protecting your skin from the ultraviolet rays of the sun? How about a little Fact or Fiction game from your friends at Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal?

UVA vs. UVB

These two acronyms are ubiquitous on sunscreen bottles. But they’re not even remotely the same. Some labels say the sunscreen blocks UVB rays. Others say they are broad based. You need a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Why? They both are beating up your skin. UVA rays penetrate the epidermis and affect the dermis beneath, causing your skin to age and creating the beginnings of skin cancer. UVB rays cause sunburn on the epidermis and also lead to the topical skin cancer lesions. Originally, scientists only thought UVB rays were the problem, due to their propensity to burn the skin, but UVA could be even worse for skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer

This is true. In the U.S. over one million people each year are diagnosed with skin cancer. Probably double that or more are undiagnosed. Those undiagnosed people are where the danger lies. If you know someone who has never been to a dermatologist, do the person a favor and tell the guy or gal to make an appointment!

If you get skin cancer you die

This is not even remotely true. Most skin cancers, if detected early enough, are all treatable with surgery. Squamous cell carcinomas and basil cell carcinomas are far less concerning than melanoma, but all skin cancers are treatable, if caught early. That’s why regular visits to a dermatologist can spot the cancers and pre-cancerous spots before they progress.

Sunscreen prevents skin cancer

Nope. Sunscreen helps block the rays that lead to skin cancer, but just because you have on sunscreen doesn’t mean you can spend every waking minute in the sun without repercussions. Sun damage is cumulative. If you’ve ever received a serious sunburn, like we all did as children, then that damage comes due as an older adult. In fact, every peeling/blistering sunburn you’ve had as a kid is said to double your chances of developing melanoma later in life.

If you have lots of moles, you have a higher risk of melanoma

This is true. People with moles, especially large ones, have a higher risk of melanoma. Those moles need to be checked constantly to see if they change shape or color.

How’d you do? If you didn’t know some of that stuff, now you do. And if you haven’t ever had your skin checked and you’re in your 30s or above, ask us about a good dermatologist and we’ll give you a few names.

And don’t forget your unwanted hair when you’re thinking about your skin. Call us at Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal, (212) 750-2000, to schedule a free consultation.

Posted in: Skin Cancer, Skin Care

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