NDSU Extension - Mercer County

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Are You Sun Savvy?

Sun Savvy, sun safety, skin cancer

 Submitted by Dena Kemmet, Extension Agent/Family and Community Wellness  

As the weather warms we will be able to spend more time outdoors. Maybe you like to ride a bike, go on walks, swim or go fishing or golfing. If you do, are you taking steps to protect your skin?

On May 21, the Beulah Elementary School will hold Relay Recess. On this day I spend a few hours reminding students about the importance of sun safety. Parents and other adults are important role models in sun safety practices!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. Melanoma is the most dangerous, while basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are highly curable.

Which of these steps do you take to help prevent skin cancer?

·       Seek shade from ultraviolet (UV) rays, especially during midday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

·       Cover up to protect exposed skin.

·       Wear a hat with a wide brim.

·       Grab shades that block UVA and UVB rays.

·       Rub on sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and UVA and UVB protection. Reapply every two hours.

Do You Know the ABCDEs of Melanoma?

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. With early detection, it almost always is curable, so check out any moles, brown spots or growths on your skin. Know the warning signs:

Assymetry - the halves do not match

Borders - uneven, scalloped or notched

Color – variety of colors including brown, tan, black, red and/or blue

Diameter – usually larger than the size of the eraser on your pencil (1/4 inch)

Evolving – look for changes in size, shape, color, elevation or symptoms such as bleeding, itching or crusting

I also see a lot of ads for anti-aging moisturizers for skin. What can you believe?

The American Academy of Dermatology offers these tips for selecting anti-aging skin-care products:

·       Start with sunscreen and moisturizer. The sunscreen should be broad spectrum and waterproof, and have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. An anti-aging moisturizer helps minimize fine lines and is the “secret ingredient” in many anti-aging products.

·       Treat your No. 1 aging skin concern, whether it is wrinkles, age spots, dryness or another issue. Start with one product because using several products at the same time can irritate your skin. No one product can treat all signs of aging on skin.

·       Buy a product formulated for your skin type. If you have oily, dry or sensitive skin, buy the appropriate product.

·       Have realistic expectations. Remember that anti-aging skin-care products deliver modest results.

·       Select a product in your price range. A higher price does not mean it is a more effective product.

·       Give it time to work. You may need to use the product for six to eight weeks or longer to see results. You must continue to use the product if you want to see continued results.

Visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fn1572.pdf for more information about nourishing your skin.

Source: Julie Garden Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist NDSU Extension

www.ag.ndsu.edu/nourishyourbody

www.skincancer.org for more information.

 

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