New sunscreen rules and the dangers of the tanning booth - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

New sunscreen rules and the dangers of the tanning booth

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With the Spring Break season upon us, Dr. Henry Lim, Dermatologist from the Henry Ford Health System, offers up the following guidelines on sunscreen, skin cancer and the dangers of the tanning booth:

 Skin Cancer Fast Facts (source: Skin Cancer Foundation)
· Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
· Each year, there are more cases of skin cancer than combined cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers.
· 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
· More than 90 percent of visible changes attributed to skin aging are caused by the sun.

Three forms of skin cancer

· Basal cell carcinoma - has pearly white, glossy appearance, and typically appears in an area overexposed to sunlight. Accounts for most skin cancers.
· Squamous cell carcinoma - appears as a flat cell on the surface of the skin and appears as red, scaly patches that can turn into small nodules. Can occur on parts of the body that have not been exposed to sunlight. Affects roughly 200,000 people in the U.S. every year.
· Melanoma - is a black tumor that looks like a mole or freckle that has an irregular shape, becomes lumpy or swollen, or starts to bleed. Accounts for 75 percent of all deaths from skin cancer and cases have been increasing for 30 years. It's the most common form of cancer in adults 25-29 and second most common in 15-29 year olds.

New Sunscreen Rules
Announced by FDA in June 2011.  Took effect in December 2012 to give manufacturers time to meet the requirements. Dr. Lim was part of task force who wrote the new rules, which include:
· Sunscreen must offer "broad spectrum" protection against UVB and UVA, the sun's radiation. UVB causes burning; UVA causes wrinkling. Both cause skin cancer.
· Sunscreen may claim in minutes the amount of time it is "water resistant." Claims of waterproof or sweatproof are false.
· Only sunscreens labeled with both Broad Spectrum and a Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, of 15 or higher will be allowed to say they help prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.

Tanning Booths
· Tanning booths emit both UVA and UVB rays, which cause skin cancer.
· People 18-29 who used a tanning booth and were diagnosed with melanoma, 76 percent of the melanoma cases were related to tanning bed use.
· People who tan indoors just 4 times a year increase their risk of skin cancer by 15 percent.
· An estimated 1 million Americans use a tanning salon on an average day.
· 7 recent research studies found a 75 percent increase in the risk of skin cancer in those who were exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning.

Skin Cancer Prevention Tips
· Avoid tanning beds.
· Sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Seek shade during that time.
· Wear protective clothing - long-sleeved shirt and pants, wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
· Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher generously. Re-apply every 2 hours.
· Water, snow and sand increase your cancer of sunburn.
· Check your skin once a month. See a dermatologist if you see any new or changing spots.

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