Every Friday before Memorial Day, The Harford County Health Department joins the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention in observing national “Don’t Fry Day” to encourage sun safety awareness.
Skin cancer affects all skin types and is the most common cancer in Maryland. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
Because no single step can fully protect you and your family from overexposure to UV radiation, follow as many of the following tips as possible:
- Do not tan or burn
- Avoid using tanning beds and sun lamps
- Seek shade; remember the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10:00AM and 4:00PM
- Wear sun-protective clothing, including hats
- Generously apply sunscreen
- Use extra caution near water, snow and sand because of UV reflection
- Check the UV index when planning outdoor activities
May also is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017, approximately 1,700 Marylanders and 87,110 persons in the United States will be diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Unlike basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, melanoma is more likely to spread to other parts of the body and accounts for 75% of skin cancer deaths. Other major risk factors for melanoma include having a history of sunburns during childhood, certain types of moles, fair skin, freckles, red or blond hair, and personal and family history of skin cancers. Spots on the skin that are new or that change in size, shape, or color should be evaluated by a doctor.
There is no such thing as a safe tan, since “tanned skin” is “damaged skin”. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation
from the sun and from artificial tanning devices (tanning lamps and tanning booths) is the biggest risk factor
for skin cancer. People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75
percent. Other major risk factors for melanoma include having a history of childhood sunburn, certain types of
moles, fair skin, freckles, red or blond hair, and personal and family history of skin cancers. Spots on the skin
that are new or that change in size, shape, or color may require physician attention if they persist.
For more information, please visit the Harford County Health Department Skin Cancer Awareness
website at http://harfordcountyhealth.com/skin-cancer-awareness/.