What you need to know about safe sunburn
Scientists have proven that sunburn is not safe. Since the 1980s, the number of cases of melanoma diagnosis has doubled. “We know for sure that the disease is caused by ultraviolet rays – and we can control the effects of the sun,” says Elizabeth Hale, a New York dermatologist and senior vice president of the Skin Cancer Foundation. “Nevertheless, over the past 30 years, skin cancer has been diagnosed more often than any other.”
Before melanoma almost did not occur in 20- and 30-year-olds. “We thought it was a disease of the elderly,” says Hale. Today, the situation is changing: young women are diagnosed with melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma (a less aggressive but dangerous form of skin cancer) is more common. Melanoma is the third of oncological diagnoses that put women under 49 years old.
Scientists believe that this is the fault of the solarium, the fashion for which came in the 1980s. The use of a solarium before the age of 35 can increase the risk of developing melanoma by more than 50%. “It is known that solariums cause melanoma: their ultraviolet radiation is 12 times stronger than sunlight,” says Stephen K. Wong, a dermatologist in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. – The mutations caused by it appear after decades. Because now we are seeing an epidemic of skin cancer in young women. ” Today in many countries it is illegal to use the solarium for minors.
Another risk factor is the transferred sunburn. Damage to skin cells caused by the sun does not disappear without a trace. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, five times seriously burn at the age of 15 to 20 years – and the risk of developing melanoma will increase by 80%. Despite the abundance of information about the dangers of ultraviolet light, people continue to burn in the sun. In conditions of global warming, this is especially alarming.
Sunscreen can reduce the risk of developing melanoma by 50%. The main thing is to use it as well as any means: daily, without adjustments for haste or discomfort. And then in ten years the situation can change globally.