As some of the only professionals to closely examine the skin on a regular basis, Stylists, Estheticians and Nail technicians, we are in a position to spot melanoma on a client before anyone. It is important to know we are not doctoring and do not diagnose but you can help with referring your client to a dermatologist and also with prevention. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer but if caught early enough it is almost always curable, so it is important to stay informed! In 2020 the American Cancer Society predicts 100,350 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed and about 6,850 people are expected to die of melanoma. The average age of being diagnosed is 65. With that being said Melanoma is the most common cancer in young adults, especially women 30 years of age and younger. In the US the percentage of people diagnosed with melanoma has more than doubled in the past 30 years. Higher risk factors for Melanoma include having green or blue eyes, blonde or red hair and fair or freckled skin. Also, Tanning beds are believed to have an impact on the increasing number over the years. It is not to say that doing or having any of the attributes means you will be diagnosed with skin cancer, but it is always good to be cautious. 10% of people diagnosed with Melanoma have a history of melanoma in their family, so it is very important to get regular checkups by your dermatologist. There is no 100% way of preventing skin cancer but there are plenty of good precautions to take! Number one Precaution is to stay out of the sun, obviously, that is not always obtainable so the next best thing is… Sunscreen!
In the beauty industry it is important to be informed and keep your clients informed how important sunscreen is. Sun screen should be used EVERYDAY not just during the summer or when you’re outside. UV rays can come through windows in your house, office or car and still be damaging to your skin. You should find a sunscreen that works best for your skin type and wear it everyday after washing your face and before applying any makeup. Sunscreen on your skin that is not being covered by clothing should be reapplied every two hours no matter what SPF you’re using. One of the most common mistakes the population makes with sunscreens is thinking the higher the SPF the longer it last, that is false. Anything over SPF 50 is misleading and people tend to use the higher SPF bottles improperly. Rather you’re using 80, 50 or 15 SPF you should still apply every two hours even on cloudy days, after swimming or sweating. Also, the type of sunscreens you use matter! Spray sunscreen are popular because they are easy to apply and they are fast, but with spray sun screen you increase your chances of missing areas of your body to be exposed, you should never use spray sun screen on your face inhaling some sun screen ingredients may cause or trigger health risks. The FDA has not determined the health risks of inhaling sunscreen but recently advised not use them near your face, Better safe than sorry.
One last friendly recommendation, always wear sunglasses. Rather you’re outside at the beach, at a sporting event or in your car. Ocular melanoma, most people aren’t aware it exists. Ocular melanoma is a type of cancer that develops in the cells that produce pigment. Pigment gives color to your skin, hair and eyes. Just as you can develop melanoma on your skin you can develop it inside your eye or on the conjunctiva. The only prevention of ocular melanoma are regular eye exams and sunglasses. Your chances of ocular melanoma aren’t as high as regular melanoma but unfortunately there is no cure for ocular melanoma just yet. Some pictures in the blog are of product we use here at PIC with SPF for sun protection.