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Does The Sun Cause Skin Cancer

How To Protect Those Hidden Areas


Over the past 30 years, the incidence of melanoma has greatly increased. According to Dr. Khetarpal, if youve had five or more sunburns in your lifetime, your risk for developing melanoma doubles. Your risk also doubles if youve had just one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence.

Theres nothing you can do to protect yourself from melanoma that isnt related to UV radiation, says Dr. Khetarpal. But you can still do your best to protect some of those hidden areas that could potentially be exposed to it, like your scalp, eyes, palms, soles, genital area, and under nails. Heres how, according to our experts.

Dr. Rajput reiterates: Yes, fair-skinned folks are most at risk for skin cancer. But its still important for those with darker skin to take all the above precautions, too, since anyone can get melanoma.

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A Tan On A Child Is Healthy

No, it’s not! While skin cancer is rare in children, much of the UV damage that leads to it takes place in the early years of life.Getting sunburnt in childhood or adolescence can increase the risk of melanoma – the most serious form of skin cancer – in later life.

Tanned skin is damaged skin. The tan a child gets may fade but the damage remains – and can lead to skin cancer later in life. In fact, people get most of their sun exposure before the age of 18.

Parents also need to consider how to protect their children when they are in someone elses care. If your child is going to camp, playschool or any other location, please make sure you make arrangements to ensure they are safe in the sun!

What Do Studies Show

Many studies have found that basal and squamous cell skin cancers are linked to certain behaviors that put people in the sun, as well as a number of markers of sun exposure, such as:

  • Spending time in the sun for recreation
  • Spending a lot of time in the sun in a swimsuit
  • Living in an area that gets a lot of sunlight
  • Having had serious sunburns in the past
  • Having signs of sun damage to the skin, such as liver spots, actinic keratoses , and solar elastosis on the neck

Studies have also found links between certain behaviors and markers of sun exposure and melanoma of the skin, including:

  • Activities that lead to intermittent sun exposure, like sunbathing, water sports, and taking vacations in sunny places
  • Previous sunburns
  • Signs of sun damage to the skin, such as liver spots, actinic keratoses, and solar elastosis

Because UV rays dont penetrate deeply into the body, they wouldnt be expected to cause cancer in internal organs, and most research has not found such links. However, some studies have shown possible links to some other cancers, including Merkel cell carcinoma; and;melanoma of the eye.

Studies have found that people who use tanning beds have a higher risk of skin cancer, including melanoma and squamous and basal cell skin cancers. The risk of melanoma is higher if the person started indoor tanning before age 30 ;or 35, and the risk of basal and squamous cell skin cancer is higher if indoor tanning started before age 25.

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Skin Pigment And Ability To Tan

Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight affects everybody’s skin to some extent, but the skin’s response varies widely from person to person. Peoples’ sensitivity to the sun varies according to the amount of pigment in the skin and the skin’s ability to tan.

Ultraviolet radiation causes tanning in two different ways: by immediate tanning and by delayed tanning. Immediate tanning causes the skin to darken in response to UVA. This darkening begins during the period of exposure, but fades within a few hours or days. The amount of tanning increases according to the skin’s natural darkness and previous amount of tanning.

Delayed tanning occurs two to three days after exposure to either UVA or UVB. It lasts from several weeks to months, and is maintained by repeated exposure to sunlight. With delayed tanning, the skin increases its production and distribution of dark pigment. The skin also becomes thicker. These changes can follow sunburning or develop gradually over a long period of repeated brief exposures to sunlight.

Some people burn easily after the first hour of sun exposure following winter or any period away from the sun. Other people, especially those with dark skin, rarely burn. This difference in reaction makes it possible to classify skin into one of six different types .

Table adapted from: SunSmart Victoria , Australia

The Sun Does Not Cause Skin Cancer

Does Sunscreen Cause Cancer? The Trouble with Ingredients ...

The past president of the American Academy of Dermatology once said, Sunscreens are an essential weapon in the fight against skin cancer. Thats just completely FALSE;and there is no scientific justification for such a statement and the REAL scientist and researchers KNOW this.

The type of skin cancer most people are worried about is called malignant melanoma. Most dermatologists say or imply that excess sunlight will cause this disease. Of course, they have NO facts to back it up and most try not to say it, but rather imply it.

The REAL scientific fact is that the;LACK of ADEQUATE;sunlight is a very strong factor in the development of melanoma. Again, I just dont have enough room in this one article to get into all the facts

But the sun helps produce a variety of very;beneficial hormones, all needed to FIGHT DISEASE. It also helps the body with;creating and absorbing Vitamin D; which is needed to absorb;Calcium;and other important vitamins and minerals which help to reduce the acidity, alkalize the body;and help with proper blood PH .

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So Do We Throw All Caution To The Wind And Allow Ourselves And Our Children To Get Sunburned Of Course Not

The sun is capable of causing oxidative stress that a healthy body can generally repair easily particularly if the person acclimates to the sun slowly and eats a nutrient-dense diet to stay strong.;I still advise people to cover up with direct skin exposure if they havent first acclimated to the sun, and even then, it may be prudent to be covered for some amount of time. For children, start with and exposure of 2-10 minutes of direct, noon sun and increase this slowly over several weeks.

Sandrines note: Sally Fallon Morell writes, Sunscreen? Please think twice in her article Skin Deep:

Pick up an article on keeping healthy and it will almost always recommend a generous application of sunscreen to protect the skin. This trend has become so widely accepted that some people wear sunscreen every day, even in winter, and slather their children with it before they get dressed, just in case they may come in contact with that dreaded, unnatural substance: sunlight.

The list of questionable ingredients in sunscreens include benzophenones , PABA and PABA esters , cinnamates , salicylates , digalloyl trioleate, menthyl anthranilate and avobenzone.

  • International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.
  • Armstrong, B.K. and A. Kricker, How much melanoma is caused by sun exposure? Melanoma Research, 1993: 3:395-401.

How Can I Help Prevent Skin Cancer

Nothing can completely undo sun damage, although the skin can somewhat repair itself, especially with on-going sun protection. So, it’s never too late to begin protecting yourself from the sun. Your skin does change with age — for example, you sweat less and your skin can take longer to heal, but you can delay these changes by staying out of the sun. Follow these tips to help prevent skin cancer:

  • Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or greater , zinc oxide , and iron oxide 20 minutes before sun exposure and every 2 hours thereafter, more if you are sweating or swimming. Check the label for directions.
  • Select clothing, cosmetic products, and contact lenses that offer UV protection.
  • Wear sunglasses with total UV protection and a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face and neck.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible during peak UV radiation hours . The UVA rays, which cause premature skin aging and initiate skin cancers, are out all day long.
  • Perform skin self-exams regularly to become familiar with existing growths and to notice any changes or new growths.
  • Eighty percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18. As a parent, be a good role model and foster skin cancer prevention habits in your child.

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Debunking Skin Cancer Myths

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. May is skin cancer awareness month and we debunk some common myths about this disease and provide some tips to reduce your risk.

Woman applying sunscreen on her shoulder

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. May is skin cancer awareness month and we debunk some common myths about this disease and provide some tips to reduce your risk.

Before we start myth-busting, lets get clear on what is skin cancer and the dangers it carries. Skin cancer happens when skin cells start growing rapidly and uncontrollably. Your skin has 3 layers: epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. The epidermal bottom layer or basal layer creates new skin cells that move to the top layer. These cells also contain melanin, which multiplies to protect our skin from harsh sun exposure. Melanin is often called the bodys natural sunscreen. Sometimes, these cells can multiply uncontrollably, causing a tumor.

Myth 1: Skin cancer is not a deadly disease.

Fact:;More than 11,500 people in the United States are expected to lose their lives from melanoma and other nonepithelial skin cancers this year. Most deaths are due to melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

Myth 2: A tanning bed is safer than UV rays from the sun.

Myth 3: A base tan prevents sunburns.

Sunburn happens when the UV rays are more than the skin can handle and repair.

Myth 4: People who tan easily and rarely burn will not get cancer.

Practice Skin Safety

Only Women Who Sunbathe All The Time Get Skin Cancer

Does The Sun Cause Skin Cancer

This is a big fat myth! Figures show that in 2013, almost 6,000 men were diagnosed with skin cancer compared to just under 5,000 women.

Skin cancer represents 29% of all cancers in women and 31% of all cancer cases in men, so its pretty clear it is not a female-only issue. By 2040 it is estimated that there will be 13,000 females diagnosed and over 20,000 males.

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Does Sunscreen Cause Skin Cancer

Guest Writer for;Wake Up World

At this time of year, it is surprising if you havent seen magazine ads, commercials, social media ads marketing a sunscreen you should buy to protect you from the sun. Unfortunately, the sunscreens that you are being influenced with are not products that are good for you to use. The focus of selling these products is that you need to lather them on or else you could get skin cancer. However, recent studies have found that sunscreens could be causing more harm than good.

Tanning Facts And Risks

Skin damage starts with your very first tan. Each time you tan, the damage builds up, creating more genetic mutations and greater risk.

Indoor tanning is dangerous: Tanning beds dont offer a safe alternative to sunlight; they raise the risk for skin cancers. One study observing 63 women diagnosed with melanoma before age 30 found that 61 of them thats 97 percent used tanning beds.

Tanning damages all types of skin: Even if your skin type is not fair, tanning causes DNA injury that can lead to premature aging and skin cancer.

You can easily reduce your likelihood of developing skin cancer by practicing sun safety.

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What Is Uv Radiation

UV radiation is part of the natural energy produced by the sun. On the electromagnetic spectrum, UV light has shorter wavelengths than visible light, so your eyes cant see UV, but your skin can feel it. Tanning beds also emit UV radiation.

Two types of UV light are proven to contribute to the risk for skin cancer:

  • Ultraviolet A has a longer wavelength, and ;is associated with skin;aging.
  • Ultraviolet B has a shorter wavelength and is associated with skin;burning.

While UVA and UVB rays differ in how they affect the skin, they both do harm. Unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB damages the DNA in skin cells, producing genetic defects, or mutations, that can lead to skin cancer These rays can also cause eye damage, including cataracts and eyelid cancers.

Using Sunbeds Is Safer Than Tanning

The Truth About How Suntanning Causes Cancer

Not true! Using sunbeds is not a safe way to get a tan.

They expose your skin to large amounts of UV rays that age your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. Getting a tan from a sunbed is not safer than a tan from being outdoors, even if done gradually.

The level of UV exposure from sunbeds can be up to 15 times higher than the midday Mediterranean sun. Because of this your risk of melanoma skin cancer is greater.

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What About Tanning Beds

Some people think that getting UV rays from tanning beds is a safe way to get a tan, but this isnt true.

Both IARC;and NTP classify the use of UV-emitting tanning devices as carcinogenic to humans.

The;US Food and Drug Administration ,;which refers to all UV lamps used for tanning as sunlamps, requires them to carry a label that states, Attention: This sunlamp product should not be used on persons under the age of 18 years.

The FDA also requires that user instructions and sales materials directed at consumers carry the following statements:

  • Contraindication: This product is contraindicated for use on persons under the age of 18 years.
  • Contraindication: This product must not be used if skin lesions or open wounds are present.
  • Warning: This product should not be used on individuals who have had skin cancer or have a family history of skin cancer.
  • Warning: Persons repeatedly exposed to UV radiation should be regularly evaluated for skin cancer.

The FDA has also proposed a new rule to ban the use of indoor tanning devices by anyone under age 18, to require tanning facilities to inform adult users about the health risks of indoor tanning, and to require a signed risk acknowledgment from all users. ;Some US states have already banned indoor tanning by all people younger than 18, while others have banned use by younger teens and children.

What Causes Skin Cancer

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the number one cause of skin cancer, but UV light from tanning beds is just as harmful. Exposure to sunlight during the winter months puts you at the same risk as exposure during the summertime.

Cumulative sun exposure causes mainly basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer, while episodes of severe blistering sunburns, usually before age 18, can cause melanoma later in life. Other less common causes are repeated X-ray exposure, scars from burns or disease, and occupational exposure to certain chemicals.

Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays also affect the eyes and the skin around the eyes. Sun exposure may lead to cataracts, cancer of the eyelids, and possibly macular degeneration.

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Sun Protection/skin Cancer Prevention Tips

Protecting yourself;against the sun’s damage is the best prevention for skin cancer. You can check the UV index for your area through the;US Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Avoid exposure when the sun’s rays are the strongest, from 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Wear protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves, and sunglasses. These can block out some of the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Seek out shade whenever possible.
  • Do not use tanning booths or sun lamps these are not a safe alternative to the sun. These emit both UVA & UVB light and;greatly increase risk;for all types of skin cancer.

Staying In The Sun Safely

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In order to maintain adequate levels of Vitamin D, it is recommended to stay in the sun 15-30 minutes per day without sunscreen. Start for a few minutes and work up to 30. If your staying out in the sun for longer;wearing a hat and light clothes;would be a good idea to protect the skin from burning. If you are planning to be in the hot sun for longer than 30 minutes, it is a good to have some form a sun protection. If using a sunscreen make sure to use a non-toxic one. I recommend reading the ingredients to see the bottle lists any ones mentioned above.

The EWGs first choice for;sun protection is Zinc Oxide.;It provides full spectrum protection of UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens like;Earthie Mamas Sunscreen;, are the best choice in sunscreens. There are other reasons why you might want to switch over to a mineral based sunscreen,;You can read more about that HERE.

Eating a;healthy diet;is also important to protect your skin from the sun. A diet high in antioxidant rich foods protects the skin from a sunburn as they act as a protective layer screening the sun from burning the skin. Antioxidants include berries, dark leafy greens, artichokes, green tea, dark chocolate and more.

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Does Harmful Sun Rays Cause Skin Cancer

Whenlee Dyeiton worked as a model in the 1980s and 1990s, she witnessed the deadly effects of UV rays on her friends and co-workers. But, at the time, she didnt think of potential cancer risks. I probably knew people who had skin cancer, had worked too much with the sun, and been too much in the sun a b CO2 laser machine is a tremendous benefit, and you dont even have to worry about burning like crazy, she says.

But, over the last 25 years, thats changed. According to a Cancer Research perspective by the Nationalconfidence Journal, the incidence of melanoma has responded significantly over the last two decades. Of 1, discourage fact is that one out of 5 Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime! If you ever get skin infection, blister, or lose a limb because of negligence while tanning, youll want to let someone know.

Tanning absorbs most of the UV light so the majority of individuals are not at any particular risk. According to Dr. JaneBrowser, chief of Dermatology at trauma treatment center inoller, Florida, one recent study showed that individuals who worked within an indoor tanning salon were 60% more likely to develop melanoma than those who didnt.

There are three types of ultraviolet rays, but most skin care specialists recommend avoiding three of them: UVA, UVB, and UVC. When these are combined together, they work in synergy to produce the most harmful free-radical damage. Now you can see why tanning beds are dangerous?


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