Have you been dreaming about catching some summer sun rays or lazing on the beach for hours? Perhaps you’re a tanning bed bunny. Whether you’re one for indoor or outdoor tanning, it is vital that you protect yourself against the damage this can cause to your skin and your health in general.
More people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States than any other type of cancer. Research indicates that each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers. This may seem alarming to some because of skin cancer’s low profile in the media and fundraising circuits, but the numbers are increasing. Current studies estimate that melanoma incidence rates in Caucasian women under age 44 has increased about 6 percent annually since indoor and outdoor tanning began to trend.
In recognition of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we’re stressing the importance of early detection and prevention. Exposure to UV (ultraviolet) radiation is a major risk factor for most skin cancers as the rays damage the DNA of skin cells and, in turn, the genes that control skin cell growth. Thankfully, UV exposure is also the most preventable risk factor for skin cancers. If you don’t expose yourself to the sun or tanning beds, then you won’t be harmed.
There are three major types of UV rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVA rays are associated with long-term skin health issues such as wrinkles and sun-damaged skin appearance (photoaging). UVB rays have slightly more energy than UVA rays and damage the superficial layers of skin, causing us sunburn, and play a major role in skin cancer development. Although UVC rays are the most threatening to our bodies, they do not penetrate well into the earth’s atmosphere.
The Aesthetic Skin & Laser Center carries a product called Fernblock, a non-toxic and kid-friendly oral extract, which contains specific photobiological properties of the fern Polypodium leucotomos. Fernblock is capable of preventing damage to the DNA of skin cells, thus protecting our skin from UVB radiation. Studies confirm that the long-term use of Fernblock inhibits photoaging and cancer-forming cells, as well as a decrease in UVB-induced skin changes. We recommend Fernblock as a powerful addition to your topical skin care regime year-round, but especially in the summer months when sunlight exposure is in its prime.