May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 | Around Town, current affairs

Shutterstock_16269322 As the sun-soaked days of summer draw near, it’s only appropriate that we turn our attention to one of the most pervasive (and preventable) threats to our health and well-being—skin cancer. Largely caused by overexposure to the sun, instances of skin cancer have increased 350 percent over the past decade and a half, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. However, for as daunting as that fact may be, there is a silver lining—more people than ever are aware of the danger of UV exposure and are taking the necessary steps to safeguard their skin.

The Basics
Skin cancer can be divided into two basic categories: melanoma and non-melanoma. Of the two, non-melanoma cases are usually easier to treat and considerably less life threatening. Symptoms include irregular growths (such as a lump or mole), unusual discoloration and excessive flaking or peeling. According to the SCF, the total direct cost for treating non-melanoma skin cancers in 2004 was more than $1 billion.

Staying Sun Safe
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Limiting your sun exposure and using a daily moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or more, like Pür Minerals Day Complex SPF 20, can help minimize your risk while keeping your skin soft, smooth and well hydrated. An SPF foundation, like the award-winning 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup with SPF 15, can further safeguard your skin while creating a flawlessly natural look.

Avoiding the Risks
Next to sun overexposure, tanning beds and other artificial UV sources constitute the biggest skin cancer risk. Nearly 30 million people tanned indoors in the U.S. in 2003, according to the SCF. To achieve the same effect without the harmful UV exposure, try a sunless bronzer like Get a Little. This award-winning self-tanning lotion imparts a natural, bronzed look while nourishing the skin with aloe and vitamin E.