More than 40 percent of all cancers are skin cancer, and it is being diagnosed more commonly in younger adults. In fact, melanoma is the deadliest form of cancer for women between the ages of 20 and 40. Excessive sun exposure without the protective benefits of sunscreen, tanning bed use, and a genetic link to melanoma are common causes.
“Cumulative exposure in your teens and 20s can lead to skin cancer decades down the road,” says Dr. William Posten, a board-certified, fellowship-trained Mohs Surgeon with Advanced Dermasurgery Associates.“Skin cancer is the most environmentally related cancer, as 90 percent of skin cancer is attributed to sun exposure. Although skin cancer is common, it is also highly treatable when caught early. Therefore, Dr. Posten recommends the following skin-savvy health tips:
- Avoid excessive sun exposure.
- Wear sunscreen every day. Consider new sunscreens with DNA repair enzymes that pull double-duty to repair sun damage and offer sun protection, such as ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica.
- Do self-skin checks one a month and see a dermatologist annually for a professional skin exam.
- If a concerning spot is getting larger, changing, or bleeding, it should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
- Ask your dermatologist about Heliocare®, a vitamin that can reduce the risk of skin cancer.