May is the best month of the year! Why? Well, for starters, it kickstarts the summer season, blooming flowers, and great outdoor gatherings. Plus, it’s the month with the prettiest birthstone, which also happens to be my birthstone!
But that’s not all—May is a month filled with important celebrations. At Ocean, we get to honor Mother’s Day, World Turtle Day, and even National Wine Day. However, it’s also an important month for Melanoma awareness.
You might be wondering why we’re making a fuss about it. Well, as ocean lovers, we spend a lot of time at the beach. While it’s healthy to soak up some sunshine, too much of it can actually be harmful. That’s why we need to be aware of how to protect ourselves while enjoying our time in the sun.
So, in support of Melanoma Awareness Month, today’s post is all about the key tips you can follow. These tips will help you protect your skin while enjoying the beach and staying safe from this disease.
You may also like: 10 health benefits of living by the sea
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops from pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. These melanocytes are responsible for producing melanin, the pigment that gives color to our skin, hair, and eyes. Melanoma typically originates in the skin but can also occur in other pigmented tissues, such as the eyes and mucous membranes.
The development of melanoma is usually the result of uncontrolled growth and division of melanocytes. While the exact cause is not fully understood, scientists have identified several risk factors. These factors include exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, having fair skin and light-colored eyes or hair. Other factors are a family history of melanoma, the presence of multiple atypical moles, and a weakened immune system.
What is Melanoma Awareness Month, and why May?
Melanoma Awareness Month is an annual campaign held in May to raise awareness about melanoma, a type of skin cancer. The primary goal is to educate individuals, like us, about the risks, prevention, early detection, and treatment of melanoma.
May marks the beginning of the summer season in the United States and the Northern Hemisphere. It’s a time when people spend more time outdoors and receive increased sunlight exposure. As we mentioned earlier, sun exposure is a significant risk factor for developing melanoma. Therefore, raising awareness at the start of the season helps emphasize the importance of sun protection.
Additionally, May is designated as Skin Cancer Awareness Month, covering all forms of skin cancer, including melanoma. This makes it the perfect month to encompass all aspects, with companies and health organizations promoting events and campaigns. This collective effort helps deliver a stronger message to the public.
You may also like: Pink October: Raising Awareness About Breast Cancer
Tips for early detection and prevention
Early detection and prevention are the best ways to safeguard our skin health and prevent skin cancer, particularly melanoma. Regular skin cancer screenings and consistent sunscreen use are important practices that can make a difference and save lives.
- Self-Examinations: Regularly check your skin for new or changing moles, spots, or growths. Consult a dermatologist if you notice anything unusual.
- Know ABCDEs: Remember the signs of melanoma – asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation, diameter larger than 6mm, and evolution. Seek professional evaluation for any suspicious changes.
- Pay Attention to New Spots: Keep an eye on new growths that look different from existing moles or freckles.
- Examine Overlooked Areas: Check the scalp, ears, soles of the feet, palms, nails, and between toes. Use a mirror for hard-to-see areas.
- Regular Check-ups: Schedule routine appointments with a dermatologist for professional skin examinations.
- Embrace Your Natural Beauty: Never purposefully expose your skin to the sun for tanning purposes. Instead, let’s focus on loving and protecting our skin just the way it is.
- Always Wear Sunscreen: Make it a daily habit, regardless of cloudy or wintry days. Yes, even when it doesn’t feel scorching outside, UV radiation can still harm your skin. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that safeguards against both UVA and UVB rays, with a minimum SPF of 30.
- Dress to Protect: Rock sun-protective clothing, a fashionable hat, and fabulous sunglasses to shield your body from harmful rays.
- Seek the Shade: When the sun is at its peak (AKA mid-day sun), find cover and seek shade.
- Avoid Tanning Beds: Research indicates that indoor tanning increases the risk of melanoma by up to 75%.
- Don’t forget the Little Ones: Children need extra care. Just one severe sunburn during childhood or adolescence can double the risk of melanoma later in life.
You may also like: What’s in our beach bag?
The skin is the largest organ in our precious bodies. Sometimes, we forget its significance and how much it absorbs and transports into our system. Having healthy skin goes beyond pursuing a “healthy tan.” Hence, being aware of factors that can harm our skin is crucial in preventing and detecting early signs of skin diseases.
May is designated as Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month. However, the battle against this prevalent skin cancer should be fought throughout the year. Let’s prioritize the health of our skin and remember to always wear sunscreen.
Make the Ocean Part of You
Bring that great ocean feeling with you wherever you are with our sentimental Ocean jewelry designs.