Our team at Jiva Med Spa wants to help you form valuable, healthy habits to stay proactive and protect your skin. Let’s commemorate Skin Cancer Awareness Month by talking openly and sharing informative, mindful tips! Photo Caption: What better way to honor Skin Cancer Awareness month than by arming yourself with knowledge to build a healthy, “skin first” mentality? Appreciate The Skin You’re In: Celebrate Skin Cancer Awareness Month Summer is just around the corner, and soon we’ll be spending full days outside in the sunshine! But what we often forget about in the rush to fulfill our “Vitamin D quota” is to ensure that our skin is protected. What we don’t always realize is that the sun’s harmful rays, or artificial versions of them (usually from tanning beds), are the leading causes of skin cancer. And, the lighter the skin you have, the more at risk you are. Although some instances of cancer can be extremely life-threatening, others may be less severe or even benign. We’re here today to discuss different kinds of skin cancer, potential symptoms, and solutions that will help us to stay attentive toward our skin’s overall health. What is skin cancer? Just like most types of cancer, skin cancer causes an abnormal level of cell mutation. This uncontrollable growth occurs in the epidermis due to damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., with one in every 5 people at risk of developing it by the time they reach the age of 70. However, skin cancer is easily treatable and is often detected before it has spread to critically dangerous levels. What are the different types? Basal cell carcinoma: This cancer is by far the most common, with doctors diagnosing around 2 million Americans each year. Typically, basal cell carcinoma is abnormal growth in basal cells caused by over-exposure from the sun, often manifesting on the face, neck, shoulders, and back areas. On the whole, it grows slowly and usually does not spread to other parts of the body, so there is a high chance that it will be treated early on and removed successfully. Quick fact: If not fully removed, basal cell carcinoma can reoccur, sometimes in the same exact place. Squamous cell carcinoma: The upper part of the epidermis is made up of these flat cells that shed to allow new cells to form. Squamous cell cancers appear in rough, scaly red patches or persistent sores usually in sun-exposed areas but can also develop in other parts of the body, like the mouth, throat, or genitals. This type of cancer can penetrate deeper into the lower layers of the skin’s membrane if not treated properly. Quick fact: Open sores that crust, scar, or bleed while never fully healing are common symptoms of SCC. Melanoma: This is the most serious form of skin cancer which develops from UV damage to melanocytes, the skin cells which produce melanin (aka the skin’s pigment/color). This type of cancer grows rapidly and can infect other tissue or vital organs within the body, making it the most lethal. It is more difficult to treat if it is not caught early on. Quick Fact: According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, melanoma can be further categorized into 4 subtypes. Just like most types of cancer, skin cancer causes an abnormal level of cell mutation. This uncontrollable growth occurs in the epidermis due to damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., with one in every 5 people at risk of developing it by the time they reach the age of 70. However, skin cancer is easily treatable and is often detected before it has spread to critically dangerous levels. How To Be Proactive So how can you stay vigilant and nip skin cancer in the bud? Symptoms of skin cancer differ from person to person, but each type has a few key indicators. The best way to catch skin cancer early on is by proactively checking your body for any patches of irritated skin, moles, and other new developments, including: Rough, scaly patches New growths that are raised/rounded Sores that never seem to heal Irritated reddish skin that is slightly raised or creviced Dark spot that is changing shape or size In addition to regular self-administered examinations, try to stay in the shade during the hottest hours of the afternoon, wear clothing with more coverage to avoid getting sunburnt, and most of all, never use tanning beds. The direct exposure to artificially created UV rays is extremely harmful to your skin and it drastically increases your chance of getting skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher for optimum skin protection. Find The Best Sunscreen Solution Over 90% of skin cancer is caused by too much exposure to direct sunlight. In fact, if you have 5 extreme sunburns or more, your risk of melanoma doubles. Good news is, even though skin cancer has a variety of warning signs, it is highly treatable, especially if detected early. Even melanoma has a 99% average five-year survival rate! It never hurts to start forming good skincare habits by lathering on the sunscreen next time you’re outside or kicking that tanning bed habit to the curb. Our wide range of medical-grade sunscreens at Jiva Med Spa will guard your skin from extended hours of sun during extra-intense temperatures. We exclusively partner with brands that innovate scientifically tested products with pure, natural ingredients for your skin’s ultimate protection. Plus, we offer several skincare restorative treatments that help to heal sun-damaged skin. Once you experience the soothing, rejuvenating benefits of our treatments, you’ll realize the importance of a healthy skincare routine. We welcome you to stop by our Columbus (614-421-7546), Dayton (937-705-9430), or Cincinnati (513-834-1770) spa locations to take a look at our products or to talk with one of our experts! We look forward to speaking with you. Take Advantage Of This Deal! EXCLUSIVE BLOG OFFER: Mention our Skin Cancer Awareness blog this month when you book your appointment in-person or over the phone to receive 25% off all our medical-grade sunscreens!