If you didn’t already know, May is Melanoma Awareness Month! Here at COOLA we support the Melanoma Research Alliance as advocates of both research and education. With a quest to spoil your skin with the most pure and eco-conscious products as possible we want to help keep you protected from the sunlight’s damaging effects.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and one of the most common cancers diagnosed in the United States. Rates of incidence have been rapidly rising, in fact, they have increased fifteen times over the past 40 years. It is estimated that in 2016 there will be about 76,000 new cases of melanoma and around 10,000 deaths in the United States alone. Referred to as a “skin” cancer disease, many disregard melanoma as merely remaining on the surface of our bodies and therefore do not realize the seriousness in contracting this deadly disease.
Melanoma is the most common cancer in young women ages 20-39 and second most common cancer in young men. While you can’t turn back time, you can take preventative measures from here on out and help spread the message for raising sun protection awareness! Here are some precautions you can take for preventing Melanoma: 1. Apply SPF Every. Single. Day. Even on cloudy days or days when you are going to work or running errands, it is pertinent that you still wear sun protection as UV rays can penetrate through the windows of your car, office, or even home. It’s this daily exposure that adds up and resulting in not only premature aging, but sun damage as well!
2. Wear clothing to further protect your skin
Today’s trends make it easy to be stylish yet sun safe at the same time! Kimono tops, linen beach pants, and a wide-brimmed hats are perfect for adding that extra layer of protection when out at the beach or pool this summer.
3. Consider a Self-Tanner
Can’t live without a tan? Consider a self-tanning formula (one that is as natural as possible, as many can be filled with harmful chemicals) and continue to layer on SPF daily. Some of these formulas can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage, so be sure to take extra precaution! Whatever you do, avoid indoor tanning at all costs, as tanning beds can increase the risk of melanoma by up to 75%.
4. Limit sun exposure from 10am – 2pm
Seek shade or limit sun exposure between the hours of 10am and 2pm when the sun’s rays are strongest. If your shadow is shorter than your height, you know the sun’s rays are at their peak!
5. Check for signs of skin cancer at least once a month
At least once a month, take 10 minutes to check your skin, from head to toe, for signs of skin cancer. Catching melanoma in its early stages can increase the chance of being cured by 98%.
Here are the ABCDE’s for detecting melanoma:
Asymmetry – one half of the mole does not match the other
Borders – borders of the mole are rugged, notched, or blurred
Color – color varies from one area to another of the mole
Diameter – melanomas are usually 6mm in diameter when diagnosed, but can be smaller
Evolving – continues to change in size, shape, or color