Skin Cancer Awareness Month May 2024

Skin Cancer Awareness Month of May, 2024 brings into focus the most common form of cancer globally. Prevention and early detection can save lives. Prevention using broad spectrum sunscreen and wearing UV clothing can minimize exposure to the harmful effects of the sun.

Skin Cancer is cancer you can see. Perform self examinations and get regular screenings by a dermatologist (a doctor specializing in skin health). This will help to detect any suspicious moles that may need the doctor’s attention.

Types of Skin Cancer

There are several types of skin cancer, with the most common being:

Melanoma is the most dangerous form, as it’s more likely to spread to other parts of the body if not detected early. 5 sunburns in your lifetime doubles your chances for Melanoma type of skin cancer. If you have fair skin you are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.

Prevention Using Spf Sunscreen

Sunscreen is one of the most effective tools in preventing skin cancer. Apply generously to exposed skin not covered by UV protection shirts.

  • Use a broad-spectrum (UVA + UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply sunscreen generously and reapply every two hours, or more often if swimming or sweating.
  • Don’t forget to protect your lips with a lip balm containing SPF.

Sunlight contains Ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) and it can harm the skin if you get too much exposure to it. If you have a light or freckled skin tone, you are more likely to get sun burned easily.

Sunlight contains both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays can prematurely age the skin, causing wrinkles and age spots, and penetrates deeper into the skin. UVB rays can burn the skin. Look for a broad spectrum sunscreen that shields the skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

UV Fishing neck gaiters protect the face, ears and neck from skin damage.UV fishing neck gaiters protect the face, ears and neck from skin damage. Left to right: Mick Coulas, the artist that created the Rattlin Jack Fish Image Gallery, his friend Nigel Jones, and fishing guide Rick Grassett back from a day fishing near Placida, Florida.

Prevention Using Sun Protection Clothing

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. UPF clothing is specially designed to provide protection against harmful UV radiation. Sun protection shirts are sometimes called UV shirts or SPF shirts.

A UPF rating on the label tells us how much sun damaging UV radiation can pass through the clothing that covers your skin. A rating of UPF 50 or higher will reduce the risk of over exposure to the sun.

  • Wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses with UV protection to shield your face and eyes.
  • A long sleeved shirt with a UPF rating of 50 offers excellent protection.
  • Hooded Tee: UV t-shirts with a hood provide instant on, instant off sun protection for the back of your neck and ears. However, reflected sunlight off light colored buildings, sand and especially water can cause exposure to the face. For this reason wearing UV neck gaiters, or applying sunscreen to your face is recommended.
  • UV Gaiters or Sun Masks: These types of face coverings are designed to cover your face and neck, offering protection against sun exposure. These are close fitting tubes that stay put when you are working, fishing or running the boat. They are made of lightweight, breathable fabric. Choose the brands that offer UPF 50 rating.
  • Comfort Fit Neck Gaiters or Sun Scarves: In very humid climates, these are a more comfortable solution. Choose the UPF 50 type that allow room for your shoulders, preventing roll up that exposes the base of your neck. A generous amount of fabric covers V-necks and unbuttoned collared shirts at the front chest.
  • Fishermen and outdoor workers may loose the sunscreen protection in water or working with their hands. UPF 50 Sun gloves might be the very best solution for all day UV protection.

Skin Cancer Prevention Best Practices – Get outside safely

These simple steps can protect your skin and cut the exposure to UV, keeping you and your family healthy!

  • When in the sun, wear SPF 30 broad spectrum waterproof sunscreen, combined with UPF 50 sun shirts. Read about the difference between UPF and SPF.
  • Reapply sunscreen after 2 hours or more often if you have sweated or swam.
  • Wear a broad brimmed hat, UV sunglasses, UV neck gaiters or sun scarves, and SPF lip balm.
  • Get into the shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Avoid tanning beds, as they can increase the risk of skin cancer.
  • Do the #SkinCheckChallenge™ Check your skin monthly for any new or changing lesions.
  • Visit a dermatologist (a doctor specializing in skin health) for an annual skin screening.
  • Apply sunscreen on children 6 months and older whenever they go outdoors.
  • Dress children and infants in UPF protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Spread the word to family and friends about the importance of skin cancer prevention.
  • More information at SkinCancer.org

Read about some young women bravely facing skin cancer, and working hard to spread awareness about early detection and prevention.

Unstoppable Women in the Face of Skin Cancer

Read how 8-Butterfly-warriors-face-skin-cancer

Purchase skin cancer prevention apparel, protect your self and support The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Purchase Butterfly Warrior Sun Protection Apparel - protect your skin and support The Skin Cancer Foundation