Melanoma Monday

Brock Hulse

Here on campus the sun has made its reappearance and summer is right around the corner. This is an exciting time of year full of sunshine and outdoor activities, but this also means that it is the season for sunburns. 

Today is Melanoma Monday, a day that is meant to bring awareness both to skin cancer as well as promote skin health and sun safety. The Melanoma Research Alliance, whose mission is to end the suffering and death due to melanoma, states that exposure to damaging UV rays from both the sun and tanning devices is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers.

Being that we don’t expect anyone here at OSU to plan on missing out on the sunshine, we’ve compiled a list of different things you should do in order to protect yourself from getting skin cancer.

1. Minimize your use of tanning beds

According to the Melanoma Research Alliance, the use of indoor tanning beds has been shown to increase the risk of melanoma by up to 75%. With the the American Academy of Dermatology reporting that 59% of college students have used tanning beds in their lifetime, making sure that you tan through other means is very important.

2. Wear sunscreen 

We know that everyone is going to want to start feeling the sun on their skin, but we don’t want you to get skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology states that even on cloudy days up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate your skin. Even more so, things like snow, sand and water can increase the need for sunscreen because they reflect the sun’s rays. This is why it is extremely important to make sure you are wearing sunscreen this spring and summer, whether you go to the beach or spend the day by the river.

3. Avoid peak ray hours

This may seem obvious, but that mid day sun does send more UV rays than other times during the day. This is why organizations like the Skin Cancer Foundation recommended that you seek shade from 10am through 4pm when the sun’s rays are the most severe, in order to make sure that you help keep your skin from these harmful UV rays.

4. Avoid burning at all cost

We all know no one likes getting a sunburn.  Besides your skin looking red and being extremely uncomfortable, the cost can really add up. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that your risk for developing melanoma doubles if you’ve had more than five sunburns, so making sure that you stay out of the sun during peak hours and wearing sunscreen as well as clothes that cover your skin from the sun like broad brimmed hats are simple steps you can take to make sure you protect your skin.

Finally, the American Academy of Dermatologist asks all to join them in wearing orange for skin cancer awareness, which shouldn’t be much of a problems for all of us here at OSU.


Photography by Public Domain 

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