Most Popular in:

Physiology

Email This Item! Print This Item!

AAD Reports Melanoma on the Rise

Posted: August 17, 2007

page 2 of 2

“The study found that there was significant improvement in the areas of the body protected by sunscreen, clothing or shade in the adolescents in the 10 communities randomly selected for the intervention versus those in the control towns,” said Dr. Weinstock.  “From previous research, we know that compliance with sun-protective behaviors goes down between 6th to 8th grades.  I think this study demonstrates that a multi-component program which involves a variety of people influential to this age group can have a positive impact on sun protection  behavior and should be considered a model for future educational efforts aimed at adolescents.”

Adults and Sun Exposure
Adults also failed to heed the warnings of dermatologists when it comes to practicing proper sun protection.  A new article published in the June 1, 2007, issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report presented data showing an upward trend in the incidence of sunburns in U.S. adults.  From 1999 to 2004, there was a 2 percent increase in the number of adults 18 years and older who reported getting sunburned (32 percent to 34 percent, respectively).  While this represents only a slight increase, Dr. Weinstock pointed out that the data demonstrates that the occurrence of sunburns in the adult population is not decreasing.

“Dermatologists are concerned that melanoma and other skin cancers will continue to increase as long as sun exposure does,”  said Dr. Weinstock.  “Since we know that overexposure to UV radiation is the most preventable risk factor for developing skin cancer, it’s critical for dermatologists to emphasize that people should practice proper protection when engaging in outdoor activities.”

The Academy recommends that people of all ages Be Sun SmartTM by following these tips:

  • Generously apply sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A
  • (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.  Re-apply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.  Look for the AAD Seal of Recognition™ on products that meet these criteria.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, where possible.  
  • Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun which can increase your chance of sunburn. 
  • Protect children from sun exposure by applying sunscreen. 
  • Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that includes vitamin supplements.  Don’t seek the sun. 
  • Avoid tanning beds.  Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling.  If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
  • Check your birthday suit on your birthday.  If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, see a dermatologist.  Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.

According to current estimates, there will be about 108,230 new cases of melanoma diagnosed in 2007 – 48,290 noninvasive and 59,940 invasive.  For more information about skin cancer, visit www.skincarephysicians.com and click on “SkinCancerNet.”