Sunburns can increase your risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, and UV exposure can raise skin cancer risk even without causing sunburn.
Get the Facts.
- Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is electromagnetic radiation from the sun and manufactured sources like tanning beds and welding torches.
- Everyone’s skin and eyes can be affected by the sun and other forms of ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- People with light skin are much more likely to have their skin damaged by UV rays (and to get skin cancer), but darker-skinned people, including people of any ethnicity, can also be affected.
- You don’t need x-rays or blood tests to find skin cancer early – just your eyes and a mirror.
- Both IARC and NTP classify the use of UV-emitting tanning devices, including sunlamps and tanning beds, as carcinogenic (or having the potential to cause cancer to humans.)
- Protect your skin with clothing that covers your arms and legs.
- If you’re going to be outside, simply staying in the shade, especially during midday hours, is one of the best ways to limit your UV exposure to sunlight.
- Wear sunglasses that block UV rays to protect your eyes and the skin around them.
- Use sunscreen to help protect skin that isn’t covered with clothing.
You need to be especially careful in the sun if you:
- Have had skin cancer before.
- Have a family history of skin cancer, especially melanoma.
- Have many moles, irregular moles, or large moles.
- Have freckles and burn before tanning.
- Have fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond, red, or light brown hair.
- Have certain autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, or lupus).
- Have had an organ transplant.
- Take medicines that make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.
Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.
Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.