When you head out this summer, do not forget to slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, and slap on a hat to avoid having a sunburn.
“Slip-slop-slap is the way you’re able to enjoy the outdoors in a manner that’s healthy for the skin,” Dr. Martin Weinstock, a professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Brown University, informed Healthline.
This advice was fundamental to the Slip-Slop-Slap campaign, a sun-protection initiative launched in Australia in the 1980s. Its aim was to encourage individuals to protect themselves from the sun to reduce their risk of skin cancer.
“It has sound advice today, as it had been back in 1980,” Weinstock said.
A single sunburn may increase a individual’s risk of cancer. This is because whenever the skin absorbs ultraviolet rays from sunlight, it can damage the genetic material in skin cells.
In the short term, this damage may cause sunburns.
In the long run, it builds up and increases the risk of skin cancer.
“That is a situation where if you receive a few sunburns, that increases your risk of skin cancer a little. If you get a lot of sunburns, that could increase your chance of skin cancer a good deal,” Weinstock explained.
“One sunburn can really make a difference, but it is not as big a difference like you have many sunburns,” he added.
Even if you never get burnt, exposure to sun can damage your skin tissues and increase your odds of developing skin cancer.
“It is not the burn itself that affects the skin cancer risk, it’s the sun exposure that’s associated with that burn,” Weinstock said.
“The ultraviolet radiation that is absorbed by the skin is what raises the danger,” he continued. “If you receive just a small bit, you might not receive a burn. You might not receive whatever feels painful in any respect, but you still have some damage that is being accumulated.”
Early exposure is harmful
Sunlight exposure can harm your skin cells and raise your skin cancer risk at any stage. But earlier exposure may be particularly dangerous.
For example, 1 study published by the American Association for Cancer Research found that sunburns earlier in life were linked to higher risk of melanoma skin cancer.
Women who underwent five blistering sunburns if they have been 15 to 20 years old were 80 percent more likely than others to develop melanoma skin cancer later on.
“Early exposures generally are of greater concern than exposures later in life, since you have a longer period of time to get extra insults to your cells which can ultimately lead to skin cancer or other negative effects,” Weinstock explained.
That is why it’s essential for parents to take steps to guard their children from the sun, as well as themselves.
“Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and clothing with a tight weave will give you good protection for the areas that are covered,” Weinstock said.
“Sunscreen typically needs to be reapplied after you’re outside for a couple hours or if you towel-dry after swimming,” he continued. “It sits on the surface of the epidermis, so if you are swimming and then you use a towel to dry off, then you have to put on more.”
Seeking shade beneath a shield, umbrella, or tree may also help protect you from sunlight.
Weinstock also emphasizes the importance of avoiding indoor tanning beds, which can damage skin cells and increase the danger of skin cancer, also.
“My understanding is that New York state are the 18th,” he added. “I really don’t think that’s been signed into law yet, but we expect it will be.”
Skin cancer kills thousands of Americans
At present, skin cancer is the most frequent kind of cancer in the United States.
Most people who have skin cancer have basal cell or squamous cell cancers, which are inclined to be very curable but expensive to treat.
Other men and women develop melanoma skin cancer, which is responsible for many skin care deaths.
In 2018, the American Cancer Society quotes 91,270 men and women in the United States will develop melanoma skin cancer, and 9,320 people will die from it.
If you create any new growths, stains, spots, or sores on your skin which do not heal within fourteen days, consider making an appointment with your doctor.
Similarly, watch out for changes in the colour, shape, or size of any existing additives or other growths on skin.
Sometimes, new developments or changes to existing growths may be a indication of cancer.
Checking for signs of skin cancer may be bothersome. But early identification and treatment can mean the difference between life and death.
Regardless of the risk of skin cancer, remaining secure does not mean being a hermit during the summer months. Using the slip-slop-slap method will help keep you safe even as you like the sun.