Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country. And unfortunately, there's no age limit. But is it possible to be too young to develop certain types of skin cancer like melanoma? Here's what you need to know.
While your risk of developing skin cancer increases as you age, it's possible for young adults to develop melanoma in some cases. In fact, melanoma is common in adults younger than 30. It's actually one of the most common types of skin cancer diagnosed in younger adults, especially women. While young children and teens typically aren't diagnosed with this type of skin cancer, adults in their 20s and 30s should be extra vigilant about protecting their skin.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent skin cancer from developing in the first place. Let's review a few of the best ways to protect yourself from skin cancer.
Sunscreen might be the simplest tool we have in the fight against skin cancer, but it's also one of the most effective. That said, you need to apply it regularly and properly for it to protect you adequately. In order to do that, make sure you're applying sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you step outside. In addition, you should be administering more than one layer of sunscreen to your skin. And if you're going to spend the whole day outside, make sure you reapply every few hours or so.
If UV rays from the sun can contribute to a skin cancer diagnosis, so can UV rays from artificial light sources. Tanning beds, in particular, have been directly linked to early signs of skin cancer. If you want to protect your skin, it's best to avoid tanning beds at all costs. In addition to contributing to skin cancer, tanning beds can also cause signs of premature aging. If you're really itching for that beautiful summer glow, consider working with your dermatologist to find a self-tanning cream or tinted lotion that can help you with that. You might find that it's an easier way to get your glow on, too.
Again, the tools we have to protect ourselves from skin cancer are simple. That doesn't mean they're not effective! If you're going to spend a day outside, make sure you're wearing clothing that covers your skin. Some essentials to pack include a light overshirt, a large sunhat, and mid- or full-length pants. Shading your skin from the sun can help you avoid sunburn and help reduce your chances of developing skin cancer. If possible, it's a good idea to look for clothing with a UPF label. This label means your clothing was specifically designed to protect you from the sun.
Protecting your skin from melanoma is easy. If you have more questions or want to book a skin cancer screening, contact our team at North Pacific Dermatology to set up an appointment today.