Today’s culture associates tan skin as being healthy. In fact, it is the norm. Believe it or not, there is no such thing as a “healthy tan”. With the invention of the tanning bed, which came to America in the early 1980’s and our society labeling tan skin as beautiful, skin cancer has been on the rise fast over the past 30 years. Here are tips to having healthy fit skin.
Want to have beautiful fit skin? You can, but you have to take care of it like you do your body. You have to eat the right foods, properly hydrate, and be careful on your sun exposure. Sun is necessary for survival but not enough to where you skin looks like leather. Here are my tips to skin cancer prevention.
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, afflicting more than 2 million Americans a year, and every year the numbers have been rising. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone practice regular skin examinations, especially those tanning on a regular basis. They even have a catchy campaign slogan “If you can spot it, you can stop it.” New lesions found early and removed are almost always curable.
If you spot something suspicious, please go see a doctor.
Educate yourself or have your doctor help educate you on what to look for. A trip to the doctor can be a life saver.
Please look out for these suspicious signs even if they don’t hurt.
- A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored.
- Any mole, birthmark, beauty mark that changes in color, size, texture, irregular outline, appears after the age of 21, or is bigger than a pencil eraser.
- A spot that continues to itch, hurt, bleed, scab, crust, or erode
- An open sore that does not heal within 3 weeks
TYPES OF SKIN CANCER
There are 3 types of skin cancer you need to know about.
1. Basal cell carcinoma-The most common type of skin cancer. It appears to be a raised soft lump or a red patch on sun exposed areas of the body. It is slow growing that rarely spreads to other parts of the body. If left untreated, it can cause local damage and scarring.
2. Squamous cell carcinoma-The second most common type of skin cancer. It can take the form of a red bump or scaly patch that appears on the top of ear, lower lip face, neck, head, hands, arms, and legs. They are more aggressive than basal cell cancers. They can metastasize or spread to other areas of the body.
3. Malignant carcinoma-This accounts for 3% of all skin cancers, but it causes 75% of all skin cancer deaths. It develops on sun exposed areas of the skin as well as in the mouth, palms, soles of the feet, and inside of the eye. It often occurs at a younger age than the other skin cancers. It is the most common type of cancer in people age 25-29 years old.
My dermatologist educated me that any more than 20 minutes at a time in the sun is abuse to your skin. She said 15-20 minutes a few times a week is enough for Vitamin D production, any longer than that, it is best to wear sunscreen or some type of clothing to protect your skin. Here are some more prevention tips:
- Seek shade between 10 am-4 pm.
- If in the sun, avoid prolong exposure AKA burning.
- Use a sunscreen that has a SPF 15 or higher.
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you go out in sun.
- Apply every 2 hours if sweating or swimming.
- Stay away from tanning beds.
- Examine your skin once a month.
- See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
THE FUAX GLOW
To get that sun bronzed look, I recommend an organic self tanner. But beware, not all self tanners are created equal. You will have to find the self tanner that works with your skin type. Some turn the skin orange, some turn the skin green. Then you got that stinky smell that goes with it. UGH! What to choose. Be patient and keep trying till you find the one that works for you. I have been trying a few organic ones lately and my favorite one is an award winning organic sunless tan lotion. I recommend trying is Lavera. www.lavera.com It is free from parabens and synthetic chemicals.
It is mainly made from plant and mineral ingredients.
There is no stinky smell. It is light and refreshing. You can add a layer each day to get gradually darker. It is enough color without looking fake.
As a former tanorexic, I am not saying stay out of the sun completely, because our bodies need it to live, but to enjoy it in small doses. If you are always indoors, please come out and enjoy the sun. If you are always outdoors, please wear skin protection. Last but not least I can’t stress this enough, please get your annual check and sun in moderation with prevention.