Thursday, April 29, 2010


May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

As Florida natives who have been in the sun all our lives, almost every member of my family and my husband's family are dealing with SKIN CANCER. Like most of us born in the 60s and before, we LOVED that golden bronzed look and spent countless hours soaking in the rays. We used iodine and baby oil, mirrors, and aluminum foil-covered cardboard in efforts to increase our tans. And now...

WE ARE PAYING THE PRICE for our foolishness and ignorance. And so are millions of people all over the world.

Did you know...
1. Over 2 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with some form of skin cancer last year?
2. 1 in 5 Americans will get some form of skin cancer in their lifetime?
3. Melanoma kills more young women under the age of 35 than any other form of cancer?
4. 90% of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure, yet fewer than 33% of adults and children use sun protection regularly?
5. Each blistering sunburn doubles your chance of getting skin cancer?
6. While melanoma is uncommon in Latinos, Asians, and African Americans, it is most deadly for these people (Bob Marley died of melanoma.)?
7. UV Rays can pass through clouds...Yes, you can burn on a cloudy day.
8. One American DIES of melanoma almost every hour (every 61 minutes)?
(info from, , skin cancer foundation)

What can you do to help prevent skin cancer?


There is much confusion about sun care products...what is SPF? what does "Complete" and "Broad Spectrum" mean? do these products REALLY last 8 hours? do we reapply? do we use sun care only when we are outside for a long time? what about tanning beds...are they safe?

SPF - means SUN PROTECTION FACTOR - Factor is a math term....IF you burn in 10 minutes without using sunscreen, then using an SPF 30 (10 minutes x 30) will allow you to be in the sun for 300 minutes (5 hours) before you burn. Of course, there are other factors which many affect the time a sun product works (water, sweat, rubbing off, medicines). Be sure to use a "shot glass" of sunscreen for each application.

Do some products really last 8 hours?
Again, your skin type determines how long you can be in the sun. Also some products are not waterproof or sweat-proof. They wash off and must be reapplied. If you are just going in and out...not sweating, swimming, etc., you should be fine with most products. However, if you are swimming, golfing, etc., look for a product that addresses this. FOR MOST PRODUCTS, REAPPLY EVERY 2 hours. (I use a product that truly works long term...up to 8 hours. It completely penetrates and works from the inside out. I have not burned since I began using this product 6 years ago...and I still lightly tan.)

suncare shields the skin from UVA I and II and UVB. UVA I rays are the most damaging rays...leading to skin damage, skin cancer and premature aging. .

protects the skin from UVA II and UVB.

You CAN get a sunburn through the windows of your car! (My sister has had 30+ suspicious spots and squamous cells removed from her "driving" arm and her left cheek.)

Should we use tanning beds?


Australia has the strictest guidelines for sun protection. They are much stronger than those in the U.S. For the 4th year, the Australian government has a campaign ( to promote skin protection and skin cancer awareness.
The five basic rules of protection are:

Wear a hat.
Wear a shirt.
ALWAYS wear sunscreen
Wear sunglasses.
Stay in the shade.

(check for free skin cancer screenings near you. (American Academy of Dermatology)

Take care of your skin...and protect your family!!!


ps: Check out Maya's fabulous giveaway! It's a "completely coastal" print by one of my favorite coastal artists...from Outer Banks Trading Co. Go to to see for yourself...


Maya said...

Oh wow! I was foolish too, up to the age of 34..., but have been staying out of the sun since then.

Simple Daisy said...

Great post!! Ik now I could be a wee bit better about the sunscreen! It's just so hard when you live in Indiana and only get sun for about 4 months of the year....I feel like I want to soak up every bit:)
I have been better about staying the shade between 11-2pm. So I guess that's a start!!
Thanks for sharing...

Tootie said...

Soooo true!

Kat said...

So true! I've had 2 cancerous lesions removed from my forehead (thank goodness for bangs). When we were young, I don't think they really understood the effects of sun exposure and sunburn, I certainly don't remember sunblock being available. I use it constantly now, all the time, all year round. Kathy

rjerdee said...

Whoa! that photo is something else!!!! It's enough to care anyone into getting out the sunscreen!!!!! Good post! We can all use the reminder.

Deanna said...

Hi Jane, May you have a good week!
Very informative post and good to know info.
Skin cancer is aweful.

Thx for stopping by my place and sharing about praying before thrift shopping. I have to agree...praying beforehand is such a bonus and makes for a productive shopping adventure.

God bless you my friend,
d from Homehaven

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hey Jane
that photo is hilarious.. although.. i shouldn't laugh.. you are right about australians being extra careful.. I don't have the stats but we are certainly exposed to that lovely little whole in the ozone layer..

you know we have had a sun protection campaign since 1981 that has a little song with it.. Slip Slop Slap.. meaning to "slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, and slap on a hat"... ppl still say to each other .. 'did you slip slop slap' so on some levels it was effective.... Kids at primary school now MUST wear a hat when in the playground.. no hat no play.. not saying it is so dangerous we can't go outside.. just that we are more aware and particularly take care with the kiddies.. foster good practice and protect young skin when it is most vulnerable..

Ok.. big comment... now i have said all that I really should get a check up.. hahaha.. take care dear Jane.. xxx Julie

Linda Starr said...

Boy that photo says a lot, ugh, I stay out of the sun and wear a big sunhat, but when I was young I didn't realize the dangers.

Shellbelle said...

Great post, everyone needs a reminder of how important sun protection is. Being of fair skin and suffering several burns as a young child, I learned to stay in the shade. I am a beach lover, but not a sun worshiper, lol.

I love the Slip Slop Slap song Julie wrote about!

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

Great suggestions. I actually got a precancerous place from a tannning bed...and I didnt spend very much time in one before I got it. I had it removed.
I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYs wear sunscreen every day-even in the winter. Its not worth having skin like the lady above.

House Of Aqua said...

I don't understand why everyone gets on board with sunscreen without thinking about the real harsh chemicals that are in it that your skin absorbs into the body. That alone can stimulate cancer in the body. I would say we wear sunscreen like once or twice a year. I think it is good to absorb the vitamin D from the sun, and not slather the chemicals into the skin. It seems like a no win situation. Sun exposure is suppose to be harmful, yet so are the chemicals in sunscreen.

Unknown said...

Great post!! I think it is also important to highlight the types of sunscreen that are the most healthy to really want to use one that has only two listed ingredients: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The rest of the sunscreens out there are so filled with cancer causing chemicals themselves that it is a lose-lose situation. I use Blue Lizard or Earths Best brand. I have heard that you can also use diaper rash cream (what a riot!!) because it is made entirely of zinc oxide....just be sure to check the label. And, cover up!! SPF clothing is great. There is actually a liquid you can add to your washing that will give your regular clothes SPF protection....I have yet to try this though. :-)