Colorado is a mile high so we are that much closer to the sun. Did you know Colorado has high incidents of melanoma? Some of our skin cancer doctors go back and forth between Colorado and Sydney, Australia to share information and teach. Australia also has high incidents of melanoma. So does New Zealand which may have recently surpassed Australia in numbers of Melanoma cases. The thinning of the ozone, particularly in Australia, leads to more UV radiation reaching the earth. There have been reports of general thinning of the ozone layer over most of the globe. Thus the risk for increases in Melanoma. What does this mean for you?
Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer. It is hard to treat for the long term. Mayo clinic reports that the ages at highest risk are 60+ years old. Second highest is 41-60 years old and third and very alarming are ages 19-40. Young women are highly effected. Hereditary plays a factor but too much sun exposure can lay dormant for years and melanoma can develop.
There are solutions and most of you have probably heard them. Good sun screen applied every two hours while outdoors, a wide brim hat that is sun protective, long sleeve shirt and other articles of sun protective clothing. Sun damage is most prevalent between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM. Remember to have skin checks each year with your dermatologist.
Wal-mart sells a reasonably priced sun screen called Equate which was shown to be one of the better sun screens on the market for protection. Remember there is no such thing as a “healthy” tan UVA radiation is what makes people tan. It basically means you have damaged your skin.
Don’t avoid the sun. Just be sun smart!!