Living in New York City, it’s easy to forget about skin cancer. After all, it’s not like we’re in Manhattan Beach, California. We’re just in Manhattan. And we’re not skiing day after day at Aspen, soaking up all the high altitude UV radiation.
Still, whether lounging in Central Park, hitting the beaches of Long Island, or out playing golf at Bethpage, we’re just as likely to start accumulating sun damage and the possibility of skin cancer.
At Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal, we don’t simply want our patients to look great and be hair free, we also want them to take care of their skin. So, how about we take a little quiz on skin cancer in this July blog.
UVA vs. UVB?
We’ve all seen the labels on sunscreens. “Broad based.” “UVB blocking.” “SPF 100+” Initially, the thinking was that only UVB rays were dangerous, as those are the rays that affect the epidermis. But now we know that UVA rays are doing their damage from below. They penetrate into the dermis, the skin’s second layer, causing skin aging and the beginnings of melanoma and other skin cancers. So, you need to look for sunscreens that block both UVA and UVB rays.
How Much Spf Is Needed?
SPF is one of sunscreen’s little white lies. It’s kind of like an Anthony Robbins infomercial about giving 1,000%, when max is 100%. Most dermatologists say that SPF 30 is all you need, as most claims beyond that aren’t doing much of anything to protect you more. Those SPFs that claim 50 and higher are probably just setting you up to pay more.
If You Get Skin Cancer You Die. True or False?
False. Most skin cancers, if detected early enough, are all treatable with surgery. That’s why yearly visits to your friendly neighborhood dermatologist are necessary, so he or she can spot the cancers and pre-cancerous spots before they progress.
Skin Cancer Is the Most Common Form of Cancer. T/F?
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.
Sunscreen Prevents Skin Cancer. T/F?
False. Sunscreen helps block the rays than 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 Have Lots of Moles, You Have a Higher Risk of Melanoma. T/F?
This is true. People with moles, especially large ones, have a higher risk of melanoma. The rough number is 50 — if you have more than 50 moles on your skin, your risk of skin cancer is higher. Otherwise, most moles on people with 30 or less are harmless. Moles and suspicious lesions are different things.
How’d you do? If you didn’t know some of that stuff, at least you do now. When you do go to the beach or the golf course, wear your sunscreen. And to get ready for the beach, be sure to call us to remove your unwanted hair, (212) 750-2000.