Sun exposure may come with serious consequences
February 22, 2012 • Suleima Guerrero, Staff Writer
Filed under Health and Fitness
Skin cancer is a very severe issue in the south west, affecting the thousands of people that spend a great amount of time in sunny areas.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepairable DNA damage to skin cells triggers mutations that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.” When having any change on skin specially in the color or size of a mole or spot are some of the symptoms of skin cancer. As well as scaliness, bleeding or change in the appearance of a bump or nodule. The spread of color beyond the border, such as dark coloring that spreads pasts the edge of a mark or mole and even a change in sensation, such as pain, itchiness, or tenderness are other symptoms, symptoms that when seen you need to tell your doctor as soon as possible.
“We’re all exposed to these rays every day, each time we go outdoors and the repeated exposure builds over time,” said Dr. Richard Eisen, M.D. Excessive, unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays or tanning booths are some of the many causes of skin cancer. People with a pale complexion, blond hair or natural red hair, or have difficulty tanning, having multiple or unusual moles, or even severe sunburns in the past have a higher risk of getting skin cancer. This disease can be inherited as well.
According to Center for Disease Control, many southern states like Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are in the 8.6 to 16.7 interval, unlike Washington, Oregon, and Maine which are in the 22.2 to 28.1 interval, meaning that southern states have a higher risk of getting skin cancer.
Avoiding the sun is the best way to prevent skin cancer. Slipping on a pair of sunglasses, looking for shade, and covering up with protective clothing are some ways to do this. Applying sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher even on overcast or hazy are other ways to prevent skin cancer. Cover your head with wide hats, shading your face, neck and ears, if you have chosen a baseball cap protect your ears and neck with sunscreen. Sun lamps and tanning beds are dangerous since they contain UV light. Protect your skin even on overcast or cloudy days UV rays travel through clouds. Skin cancer is no joke and can be prevented so do your best to keep yourself safe.