Health Week

Common Misconceptions About Skin Cancer

Doctor examining patient's skin

Have you noticed an abnormal growth on your skin like a red nodule, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a scaly scab that bleeds? These are signs of skin cancer caused by exposure to UV rays. Since residents in Salem, Utah are often exposed to dry and warm summers, it pays to educate yourself about the common misconceptions about the symptoms and treatment of skin cancer. Here are some of the common impressions about skin cancer:

You Don’t Need to Wear a Separate Sunscreen if Your Makeup has SPF

Most cosmetic products contain a lower Sun Protection Factor than the recommended value, which is SPF30. If you would be out for just a short time, foundations and moisturizers with sunscreen protection would be enough to protect your skin. But if you have to spend long hours under the sun, you need to use a separate sunscreen with enough or higher SPF value. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours for maximum protection.

You Can’t Get Burnt Through a Window

Glass windows only lessen the spread of Ultra-Violet radiation they do not entirely block its transmission. Obviously, putting your windows down will expose you to high levels of UV radiation. However, you could still get burnt if you stay too long in your car or behind a window when UV radiation is at its peak.

People with Dark Skin are Less Likely to Have Skin Cancer

Anyone could have skin cancer regardless of their skin type. Dark-skinned men and women are less prone to skin cancer because their skin contains more melanin which is the protective pigment that gives the skin and eyes their color. This doesn’t say that they won’t develop skin cancer. Darker-skinned people are only less prone to developing skin cancer that is why they still need to protect their skin from overexposure to UV rays.

You Only Get Burnt on Sunny Days

The sun emits radiation continuously so you could still get burnt not only on sunny days but on cloudy and windy days as well. Radiation could still find its way through a cloudy day. You would notice that you could still get sunburned on a windy day. Therefore, you should protect your skin no matter what type of day it is.

If not recognized and treated early, skin cancer could be deadly. When skin cancer symptoms are neglected, cancer could spread into different sections of the body and develop tumors which could be fatal. Protecting your skin from overexposure could help prevent the growth of cancer cells.

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