Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in the United States. There are different types of this disease. The two most common are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. Melanoma, another type, is less common, but more dangerous. Nearly 70,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma each year, and it causes 8,700 deaths. Melanoma is now twice as common as it was two decades ago. The increase is so dramatic that the U.S. Surgeon General has issued a call to action to take steps to prevent melanoma.

One way to protect yourself from skin cancer is by protecting your skin from getting too much of the sun's ultraviolet light. It's especially important to avoid getting sunburned, as this increases the risk of melanoma. Using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing, including a hat with a brim, are good ways to do this.

While sun protection is important for adults, it's even more important for children. Most of the average American's sun exposure happens before age 18. Even a couple of blistering sunburns in childhood increase the risk of later skin cancer.

Skin Cancer Articles

Save your skin from cancer

Cases of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) skin cancers have more than doubled over the past decade, especially among men. However, BCC and SCC are rarely deadly and are easy to treat if they are caught early. It is also easy to lower your risk by following standard sun protection practices, including using proper sunscreen, avoiding the sun during peak exposure times, and wearing sun protection clothing and hats. (Locked) More »

The science of sunscreen

Sunscreen can be helpful in preventing premature aging from sun exposure as well as skin cancer. Some people mistakenly believe that sunscreen is ineffective or dangerous, but research shows this is not true. While sunscreen is one measure people should take to protect their skin, they should also take steps to minimize sun exposure and use protective clothing to further prevent potential damage from ultraviolet rays. (Locked) More »

Safety of LED nail lamps

Nail salon lamps, whether they are labeled LED or UV, all emit ultraviolet radiation, so protect your skin during manicures by using sunscreen or wearing fingerless gloves. (Locked) More »

Which is best for optimal sun protection — sprays or lotions?

Spray sunscreens help cover hard-to-reach areas, but they do have potential health concerns from inhaling their chemicals. The FDA has not specifically determined the health risks of inhaling sunscreen sprays, but recently advised not to use them near your face. People are probably better off using a lotion or gel. More »

Do gel manicures increase cancer risk?

The level of risk from UVA radiation delivered by lamps used by professional manicurists to dry gel nail polish increases with the frequency of manicures. Sunscreen and fingerless gloves can protect hands during manicures. More »