Repeated exposure to the UV rays of the sun over many years can cause extensive damage of the skin. Sun damaged skin is very common in lifeguards, golfers, tennis players, boaters, and outdoor workers. The components of the skin become damaged which causes their normal characteristics to change. Signs of sun damaged skin include dark spots and age spots on the face, uneven complexion, leathery skin, fine lines, spider veins on the face, milium, a gradual thickening of the skin, and deep wrinkles, In addition, pre-cancerous red and scaly spots called actinic keratoses or even skin cancer may appear.
May is the National Melanoma Awareness Month. With the month coming to an end and summer officially beginning, it is important to remember to use the following sun protection measures: sunscreens, sun avoidance, and protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses
The American Academy of Dermatology published the following statistics on Skin Cancer:
- Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
- More than 8,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.
- 144,860 new cases of melanoma, 68,480 noninvasive (in situ) and 76,380 invasive, will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2016.
- Invasive melanoma is projected to be the fifth most common cancer for men and the seventh most common cancer for women in 2016.
- Melanoma rates in the United States doubled from 1982 to 2011.
- Caucasians and men older than 50 have a higher risk of developing melanoma than the general population.
- The incidence in men ages 80 and older is three times higher than women of the same age.
- The annual incidence rate of melanoma in non-Hispanic Caucasians is 25 per 100,000, compared to 4 per 100,000 in Hispanics and 1 per 100,000 in African-Americans.
- In people of color, melanoma is often diagnosed at later stages, when the disease is more advanced.
- Before age 50, melanoma incidence rates are higher in women than in men, but by age 60, rates are twice as high in men.
- Melanoma in Caucasian women younger than 44 has increased 6.1 percent annually, which may reflect recent trends in indoor tanning.
- Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer in females age 15-29.
- Melanoma is increasing faster in females age 15-29 than in males of the same age group.