Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, and it remains a significant problem in Australia. If left untreated, the condition can spread and become life-threatening.
In order to prevent skin cancer, it’s important to know the facts. We’ve put together some of the most common myths about the disease, and separated the facts from the fiction. Read on to find out more …
- Dark skin won’t get damaged
No matter what kind of skin you have, exposure to the sun’s UV radiation can cause serious and permanent damage. Even people with skin types that are less likely to burn than others are at risk of developing skin cancer, and everyone needs to take care in the sun by wearing protective clothing, a hat, and sunscreen. It’s also important to limit the amount of time you spend in the sun.
- Damage only happens in direct sun
UV radiation causes sun damage, so even if it is overcast or cloudy, you can still get burnt. In fact, sun damage is not actually caused by temperature so even a cool day can have similar UV radiation levels to a hot, sunny day. It’s also important to note that you can get sunburnt through a car window, particularly if it is untinted.
- Sunscreen isn’t essential if my foundation contains an SPF
If you plan on spending time in the sun, it’s important that you put sunscreen on. Although your foundation and daily moisturiser may contain a sun protection factor, these kinds of cosmetic products generally offer much less protection than the recommended SPF30 or higher. Remember to reapply your sunscreen every two hours if you are going to spend a long period of time outdoors, and opt for a waterproof one if you intend to go swimming.
- I won’t get cancer because my skin doesn’t burn
Even if your skin tans, rather than burns, it is a sign of sun damage. No matter your skin type, we highly recommend that you limit your exposure to the sun and wear a sunscreen of at least SPF30. In a warm place like Queensland we are exposed to very high levels of UV radiation often, and this can increase our risk of developing skin cancer over time.
Has your skin been damaged by the sun? Dr Samuel Yang is able to remove complex skin cancer lesions and reconstruct the affected area afterwards. Get in touch to arrange a consultation so that Dr Yang can assess your particular situation and advise you on the best treatment option.