|Pic Credit : NCI|
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We often believe on various things which are not scientifically true or accurate. Sadly in today’s just a click away world of information, we have misunderstandings and myths even for some deadly diseases such as cancer. Skin cancer is no exception. Some of the commonly believed myths about skin cancer are as under:
Myth: Tanning Beds are Safer than the Sun
If you think that an inside tanning bed is safer than getting exposed in Sunlight outside your house, then you are completely mistaken. UV rays, the type of light rays that have been shown to increase your risk for skin cancer, aren’t just in sunlight. Twenty minutes of exposure to a tanning bed is roughly equivalent to four hours exposure in the sun. The use of tanning beds and sun lamps is hazardous because the UV radiation they deliver can damage your skin. If you are too eager to seek a tanned appearance, consider sunless tanning products.
Myth: Wearing Sunscreen at the Beach is Protection
You should use about an ounce of sunscreen (roughly a palm full) to cover your arms, legs, and face, and reapply often, especially if you are sweating or swimming. Sunscreen wears off with sweat and water and should always be applied every two hours or after getting wet.
Myth: I am in no danger as I am indoor or out on a cloudy day
Dermatologists find that brief sun exposures throughout the year can add up to significant damage for people with fair skin. These brief moments can include driving with the sunroof open or walking around outdoor during peak sun hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 85 percent of UV rays can even make it through on cloudy days. That means you are equally at risk in the car, walking the dog or letting your children out to play at any time of year.
Myth: Dark skinned people are not in risk of skin cancer
This is not true. Though naturally dark people have a much lower risk of skin cancer than fair-toned people, this does not make them immune to skin cancer. It’s a good idea to reduce your UV exposure by seeking shade and wearing protective clothing to cover your arms and legs, a hat to protect the skin on your head and neck, and sunglasses to protect your eyes and the delicate skin around them. Try to use sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.
Myth: Having a Tan Means You're More Protected
This is absolutely a misconception. There is no such thing as a healthy suntan, so tanned skin is actually damaged skin. Repeated tanning injures the skin and increases the risk of skin cancer.
Myth: Taking Care of Your Skin at Present Will Protect You in Future
Sadly, skin cancer can take 20 or more years to develop. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that most people receive about 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure before the age of 18. Taking better care now will reduce the risk, but not eliminate the damage already done.
Myth: Younger people are not in risk of skin cancer
Having skin cancer is not bound by the age. Anyone can get skin cancer, be it a young adult or an old person. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in young adults, ages 25 to 29.
Myth: Only UVB rays cause skin cancer
This is not true. Both UVA and UVB rays can harm your skin and cause sunburns and damage skin, possibly leading to skin cancer. Look for a sunscreen of SPF 30 or more that provides protection from both, called “broad-spectrum.”
Myth: Skin cancers are not deadly.
Unfortunately, skin cancer can be deadly indeed. Thousands of people lose their life to melanoma every year. Other types of skin cancer can also be deadly, so skin cancer is something that should be taken very seriously. It is better to take care and prevent your skin from all the risk factors of skin cancer, especially the sunlight.
Myth: If you are already in treatment for cancer, you don’t need to worry about skin cancer
Treatment for one type of cancer does not make you immune to other cancers. In fact, certain cancer treatments, such as radiation, can actually increase your sensitivity to UV rays, and these effects can last well after treatment ends. So if you are under treatment for any type of cancer, it is always better to talk to your doctor concerning any risk of skin cancer whatsoever. Always prevent your skin from all types of risk factors and take all precautionary measures to avoid the risk of skin cancer.