Most people know skin cancer isn’t good. But misconceptions run rampant, and it’s worth getting educated. Here are five common skin cancer myths to be aware of.
1. Skin Cancer Is Rare, So There’s Nothing to Worry About
This is a big one. Although certain types crop up less often than others, skin cancer is a fact of everyday life. In fact, with more than one million new cases every year, it leads as the most common cancer variety in the U.S.
Why does it matter? Skin cancer can be deadly, with types like melanoma being among the most fatal. It’s smart to get screened even if you think you’re a low risk.
2. Tanning Beds Are Less Risky Than Outdoor Tanning
Many dermatologists strongly advise against the use of tanning beds or sun lamps as they pose certain health risks, including skin cancer. In fact, tanning, in general, is bad for your skin and ages it faster.
3. People With Darker Skin Can’t Get Skin Cancer
People with darker skin may mistakenly believe they’re safe from skin cancer, which can mean they don’t find out about their cancer until it’s serious. The truth is that skin cancer can affect any individual, no matter the color of their skin. While darker skin does offer some protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, it’s a myth that people with darker skin tones are immune to the harmful effects of UV radiation.
4. People Who Spend Most of Their Time Indoors Aren’t At Risk
It doesn’t take a lot of UV exposure to damage your skin. These effects are often cumulative. In other words, a bit of exposure each day has a big impact over time, especially if you have light skin.
5. Sun Exposure Is Harmless If It’s Cloudy Out
The sun can cause damage even when the skies are overcast. In other words, you should always cover up or wear sunscreen—no matter what the daytime weather is.
Learn About Your Unique Skin Cancer Risks With Harris Dermatology
One of the easiest ways to fight skin cancer is to know where you stand in terms of your risks—and booking a proactive screening is the best option. Ready to get informed and stay healthy? Talk to one of our providers at Harris Dermatology by scheduling an appointment with us today. Call our Fort Myers, FL location at 239-936-3344 or our Naples, FL location at 239-596-1848.