May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
As many of you may know, May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. With the summer months quickly approaching, it is not a coincidence May was chosen to recognize the severity of Skin Cancer. Although protecting and maintaining healthy skin is always on my mind, now is a great time to revisit some summer-time-tips to keep your skin safe and to share them with your clients.
The incidence of melanoma is increasing rapidly in woman under the age of 40. Skin Cancer is now the most common cancer in young women aged 25-29, and 2nd only to breast cancer in women ages 30-34. This is especially disturbing as more than 90% of all skin cancers are caused by sun exposure, which we can prevent!
If you enjoy the beach, as I’m sure many of you do, you need to take extra precaution to protect your skin. Although a sun-kissed glow can be appealing, it can also be dangerous. Anytime you are going to be out in the sun for an extended period, you must always wear sunscreen!! Sunscreen is not a one and done application either, in order for sunscreen to be effective it needs to be reapplied throughout the day. SPF measures the length of time a product protects the skin, so if you normally start to turn pink in 10 minutes of sun exposure, with an SPF 15 it will take 15 times as long (2.5 hours). I recommend if you are at the beach to reapply sunscreen at least every hour and before and after taking a dip in the water. It is also important to accessorize, whether you’re at the beach or not! Sunscreen is effective but it never hurts to be too prepared. Make sure you are armed with a beach umbrella, a wide-brimmed hat, and a sarong so you can stay healthy and chic this summer.
As estheticians, we see a lot of skin and we can be instrumental in detecting early signs of skin cancer. Remember, if you can spot it you can stop it! If when giving a facial or a massage you notice that your client has an irregular mark or mole, mention it to them once the treatment has finished. Approach them gently, be sure not to offend or scare your client. Perhaps you could even team up with a dermatologist in your area so you can be prepared to offer them a referral if they hadn’t noticed the mark prior to you mentioning it. It is better to be safe than sorry, and we are in a wonderful position to make sure that our clients are skin stays healthy!
For more information, please visit The Skin Cancer Foundation.