Did you know that May is National Melanoma/ Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month? The purpose of this month is to raise awareness and educate the public about skin cancer, ways to prevent it, and how to detect it. In honor of this month, this blog will do just that!

The Numbers
There are different types of skin cancer. The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. The third most common type is Melanoma, which is very serious and potentially deadly. More people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States each year than any other cancer combined. Each HOUR, one person will die of Melanoma
The important thing to note is that you can help prevent skin cancer by educating yourself on how it’s caused.

How to Help Prevent Skin Cancer
Most skin cancer is caused by the cells that are damaged by UV light, from either the sun or tanning beds. One can help prevent skin cancer by avoiding tanning beds, wearing sun block and protective clothing, sitting in the shade or under an umbrella when outside and wearing hats when outdoors, preferably a hat with a 360 degree brim of at least 3 inches all the way around; baseball caps protect only a portion of the head.

What is the Recommenced SPF?
The CDC recommends using at least an SPF of 15. It’s important to remember to reapply sun block every two hours, after swimming, or if you have been sweating a lot. Also remember that sun block can expire, so be sure to check the expiration date.
Helpful Tip: Try to remember to keep some sun block in a purse, backpack or car. Having that handy will allow you to always be prepared!

What Should You Do If You Get Sunburn?
If you do become sunburned, there are a few things you can do to relieve the pain.

  • If you are outside and near some water, briefly cool down your skin, and then get out of the sun as soon as you can. When bathing, try to keep it brief using cool water. When drying off, be gentle since the skin will probably be sensitive to touch. Also avoid scratching the skin because that can cause peeling.
  • You can also place ice on the sunburn as well. Do not place ice directly on the burnt skin. For example, wrapping an icepack in a towel first can be helpful.
  • Be sure to keep skin moisturized with lotion as well. Aloe Vera can also help soothe the skin.
  • Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate! Water is the best drink for hydration.
  • Taking an anti-inflammatory over the counter medication can help relieve inflammation and pain. You should consult with a doctor or healthcare provider before you start taking any new medications to make sure it is the right one for you.

How HRUC Can Help?
If you suffer from severe sunburn, and the skin begins to blister, don’t pop them- that could cause an infection! Feelings of confusion, dizziness, or sustaining a fever can also occur with a severe sunburn.
If suffering from any of the above symptoms, you should seek a medical professional.
Here at HRUC we offer medical treatment general health illnesses such as severe sunburns. No appointments are necessary, and walk-ins are always welcome.

Takeaway Message
Putting on sunscreen may seem like a tedious task. Having a year round tan from the tanning bed may seem cool now, but the choices we make today can lead to consequences that affect our health later. Taking the proper precautions and care of our skin today can help prevent more serious illnesses down the road such as skin cancer. It will also eliminate that painful, damaging, and potential damaging sunburn!