According to research conducted in the United States, more young women are getting their skin checked and there is overall more awareness about skin cancer and the benefits of wearing sun protective clothing, a sun hat and sunscreen.
This is excellent news, but California based dermatologist Melanie Palm, M.D. says there is something else which needs to addressed. "Most of these women are still tanning, often a lot!"
Dr. Hale agrees: "Women come bronzed and think that as long as they don't fry themselves and get checked, then they can get some colour. But that's like thinking that as long as your doctor checks your lungs once a year, then it's totally fine to smoke."
This is completely flawed logic. You would ever consider driving without your seat belts nowadays and risking your life?
Sadly, rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer are rising worldwide. It is not just in Australia that the issue is being addressed. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation: In the United States, and this year alone, more than 137,000 cases will be diagnosed, making it the most common cancer among young women and seven times more common than breast cancer.
In the United States, other skin cancers such as base and squamous cell carcinomas are 300 percent higher than what they were 20 years ago.
Skin cancer is striking women earlier than ever before.
So why are we so blasé about tanning? Dr Hale says "I have women say to me all the time. Well, that's why I come to see you, Dr. Hale. If I get it, you'll find it and take care of it."
It's not always just cutting out a mole and you'll be ok.
Most non melanoma cancers such as squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma may require small procedures if they are caught early. If these are discovered on the face, can require hours of plastic surgery and leave scaring.
Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and is extremely difficult to cure, especially if it is not caught early. At only 1 millimetre deep, it can penetrate the blood stream and metastize to the lungs, brain and other organs.
So is there any good news?
Yes there is. According to Sunsmart, skin cancer is largely preventable and caused by the sun exposure in 90% of cases.
At SOLBARI we encourage people to go outdoors and be active but to make it like a celebrity:
Wear UPF50+ sun protective clothing, our stylish UV protecting swimwear and a sun hat, sunglasses and apply sunscreen on areas which are not covered by your sun protective clothing 20 minutes before going out and reapply every 2 hours.
In other words, don't be fearful, just be careful.
The SOLBARI Team
This blog post is for information purpose only.
Over the coming weeks, we will be publishing more stories from our Solbari Community with a mission to help raise awareness about skin cancer, melanoma, sun protection, and skin conditions.
If you are interested in sharing your story, please answer our questions from the relevant questionnaire and send us a picture of yourself being sun safe in the outdoors.