May is Skin Cancer Awareness month and the dangers of skin cancer need to be taken seriously. There are many misconceptions about who can get skin cancer and how you get skin cancer. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in his or her lifetime, according to the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery. These misconceptions or myths can often lead to lax and dangerous sun safety behavior.
Myth: “I am not at risk of getting skin cancer from sun exposure, because my routine doesn’t include any outdoor activities.” However, brief sun exposures throughout the year can add up to significant damage for anyone, especially those with fair skin. This brief sun exposure is as little as your drive to and from work or being out on those cloudy cool days.
Myth: “SPF 30 is all the SPF protection I need; anything higher is all the same.” Higher SPF sunscreens provide additional sunburn protection under extreme UV conditions. Application of one ounce for your body and one tablespoon for your face is appropriate, as well as reapplying throughout the day. For those who might be prone to applying insufficient amounts of sunscreen, look for an SPF 50 or a medical grade sunscreen.
Myth: “Dark-skinned men and women are not at risk for sun damage and skin cancer.” Although women with naturally dark skin have a much lower risk of skin cancer than those who are fair-toned, this does not make them immune to skin cancer. Cases of skin cancer in people with darker skin are often not detected until later stages, when it is more dangerous. The overall melanoma survival rate for African-Americans is only 77% versus 91% for Caucasians.
Myth: “Only UVB radiation can cause skin damage.” The fact is that both UVA and UVB rays cause sunburns and damaging effects such as skin cancer. UVB rays account for 80% of the sun’s damage and UVA for 20%. This is why it is important to use a broad spectrum sunscreen.
With all of this being said; medical grade sunscreens are specifically formulated with rich antioxidants and help protect the skin against a broad spectrum of the sun’s rays. They do not contain fragrance, dyes, chemicals or parabens which are all harmful. These are found commonly in the over the counter brands or department stores. Our V-spa provides three of the best medical grade sunscreens to help protect your skin and are all recommended as an effective UV sunscreen by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Obagi Sun Shield Broad Spectrum Matte SPF 50 is great for those with oily prone skin. This formula contains 2 sunscreens to effectively prevent premature aging and burning. Skin Medica Daily Physical Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30+ is combined with caffeine and antioxidant green tea to help protect the skin against free radical damage. Skin Medica Environmental Defense Sunscreen SPF 50+ contains patented technology UV ProPlex to help improve performance with water resistance. All of these sunscreens are formulated with micronized zinc oxide to penetrate deeper for better protection of the cell and DNA of the skin. This formula of zinc oxide is transparent, very light feeling on the skin, and can’t be found in over the counter sunscreens. As we get into the summer months ahead, be smart and never leave your home without sun protection. We at the V-spa are happy to help you decide what the best sunscreen is for your daily lifestyle. Call us for a complimentary Emage skin analysis!