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Senior Health Update

Do You Know These Skin Cancer Myths?

Misinformation is common these days when it comes to understanding skin cancer. Get the facts on these myths:

  1. Only UVB radiation can cause skin damage. False. Both UVA and UVB cause sunburns and damage skin, possibly leading to skin cancer. Look for a sunscreen that provides protection from both, called “broad-spectrum.”

  2. You don’t need to wear sunscreen on a cloudy day. False. Even under cloud cover, it is possible for the sun to harm your skin and eyes and cause long-term damage. It is important to protect yourself with sunscreen, even in cloudy weather.

  3. People who tan easily and rarely burn will not get cancer. False. There is no such thing as a healthy suntan. Any change in your natural skin color is a sign of skin damage. Evidence suggests tanning greatly increases your risk of developing skin cancer. The increase in skin pigment called melanin, which causes your skin to tan, is a sign of damage. Once skin is exposed to UV radiation, it increases the production of melanin in an attempt to protect the skin from further damage.

Source: American Society for Dermatologic Surgery