We wait through subzero temperatures, shoveling snow, icy roads just for those few months of the beautiful Michigan summer. We’re so excited to be out in the warm sunshine that we forget one important thing.
Ultra (UV) Radiation
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV radiation can also come from tanning booths or sunlamps. The most dangerous kind of skin cancer is called melanoma.
The month of May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. The Michigan Department of Health and Human services (MDHHS) reminds all residents that:
• Controlled indoor tanning is not safe tanning
• A base tan is not a safe tan.
• Tanned skin is not healthy skin
A tan is how the body responds to injury from ultraviolet (UV) rays, showing that damage has been done. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Burning Truth awareness campaign sets the record straight on tanning and skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States.
The American Cancer Society projects that in Michigan, there will be more than 2,500 cases and 300 deaths due to melanoma in 2016. Protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays by taking the following precautions:
• Avoid the sun during the middle of the day
• Cover exposed skin, wear sunglasses and a hat
• Use sunscreen appropriately to lower your risk for skin cancer
• Avoid tanning beds
• Check your skin regularly and be sure to talk with your doctor if you notice any changes with your skin.
To learn what skin cancer and melanoma look like, visit http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer/galleries/skin-cancer-images. For more information on lowering your risk for skin cancer, go to http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer/index.
So enjoy the Michigan summer, you’ve earned it, just do it safely!