According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Over the past 31 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other forms of cancer combined.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer; it is estimated that 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the US. BCCs are rarely fatal, but can be highly harming if allowed to grow.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer; an estimated 700,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the US, resulting in approximately 2,500 deaths. About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old. One in 55 people will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime.
The survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has penetrated the skin, is about 99 percent. The survival rate falls to 15 percent for those with advanced disease.
The most important reason for vigilant sun protection is preventing cancer, but of course the sun also does some unwelcome things to your skin.
Easy, everyday sun care tips can make a big difference down the road for your looks and health. No one is immune to skin cancer, so no matter how careful you are, if you notice a mole or mark that looks suspicious, see your doctor immediately.
There are treatments to try; if you have started to notice changes in your skin that you think can be attributed to DNA damage (wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, dull skin, etc.), then see your dermatologist about in-office procedures. Some are more invasive than others, so research your options before getting in the chair. Here are a few of my favorites for women all ages and races.
Theraplex peels. Chemical peels are among the least intensive options for fixing damage done by sun exposure. I like the Theraplex peel that is 25 percent salicylic acid for gentle exfoliation. Plus, this peel is safe for all skin tones and has no downtime.
Fraxel Re:Store Laser. This resurfacing laser works on skin types ranging from the lightest of the light to the darkest of the dark and helps with deeper pigmentation issues, including acne. People are usually able to return to work the next day, which is incredible considering that it can diminish the signs of crows feet, age spots, melasma and precancerous lesions.
Allumera. This is the first non-invasive photodynamic cream that can even out skin tone and improve texture. You need to avoid the sun for two days after having the cream applied by your doctor, so plan accordingly. When it comes to pigmentation issues, I find that my patients are willing to undergo more involved treatments to fix their problems faster. Pore size is reported to decrease in 44 percent of patients after three treatments.
Botox and Fillers. These two products usually do more than almost any other product there is to decrease fine lines and wrinkles, build collagen, plump up the face and keep women and men with sun damage looking significantly younger. I have used both of these on my patients since 1994 and have been involved in many of the clinical trials. Botox is my favorite for the forehead and I use Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm for fillers.
See how your BMI and waist-to-hip ratio is affecting your beauty and health.
Highlight your eye color. Flaunt your body shape. Harness your confidence. Take our quizzes to better know yourself and get science-based, individualized advice to embrace your true beauty.
See how your BMI and waist-to-hip ratio is affecting your beauty and health.Take Quiz
Great sex does more than blow your mind—it's good for your heart, your head and your beauty.Take Quiz
Define your curves and discover the best ways to eat, exercise and dress for your figure.Take Quiz
If shopping for eye makeup is one big guessing game, find your best colors here.Take Quiz