With summer around the corner and Skin Cancer Awareness Month underway, you slather yourself in sunscreen, then relax onto your beach towel. Skin cancer avoided, right?
Not necessarily. Although sunscreen is a good tool for blocking harmful ultraviolet rays and thereby limiting the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers, some lotions lack the necessary sun-protection ingredients. Others may cause allergic reactions.
If you’re a sun worshiper or work outdoors, it’s important to know the facts about skin cancer and sunscreens:
- Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., according to the nonprofit Skin Cancer Foundation. More new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed every year than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined.
- Until age 39, women are almost twice as likely as men to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
- “Broad-spectrum protection,” “UVA protection” and “all-day protection” claims on sunscreen labels sometimes are untrue, leaving you vulnerable to dangerous sunrays.
- Only 4 active sunscreen ingredients in U.S. products offer full-spectrum protection, according to the FDA.
To find out which ingredients work and everything else you need to know about sunscreen, read this story.
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