Minnesota’s skin cancer rates are going up, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, and Minnesota is not the only state seeing more skin cancer cases. Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger says the national incidence of melanoma has been on the rise since the mid 70s. Officials are urging the public to avoid the sun all year long and stay out of tanning beds.
The department says melanoma rates rose 35 percent for men and 38 percent for women between 2005 and 2009 in Minnesota. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of melanoma isn’t clear, but exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or tanning beds increase a person’s risk of developing melanoma. Adversely, limiting UV exposure can help reduce a person’s chances of getting melanoma.
More on Minnesota’s Rising Melanoma Rates and Melanoma:
Exercising benefits your heart, lungs and mental health – fairly common knowledge these days. But did you know exercise benefits your skin too, and can even help your skin stay younger looking longer?
Exercise increases blood flow throughout the body, including to your skin. According to dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, in a WebMD article, she cites, “Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from working cells.” Since exercise improves circulation, it makes it easier to cleanse skin from the inside-out, keeping skin healthy and vibrant looking!
If you exercise outdoors, be aware that the sun can have reverse effects on skin. You don’t want to spoil all the hard work you put into looking and feeling great! UV exposure from the sun can damage and age skin that’s not well protected. Following tips from SunAWARE, a non-profit helping prevent and detect skin cancers, will help you avoid sunburn and get the maximum benefits exercise provides.
A – Avoid unprotected UV exposure and avoid peak sun hours (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.).
W – Wear sun protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, tights/pants, and wide-brimmed hat and UV sunglasses. This may seem warm, but numerous companies, including Coolibar, are manufacturing lightweight, moisture wicking UPF materials. Sun protective clothing actually keeps you cooler since your skin is not in direct contact with the sun.
A – Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to all exposed skin. Reapply after sweating, swimming or as recommended on the label. Athletes: look for a sport sunscreen that’s oil-free.
R – Routinelyexamine your skin for changes. Seek a dermatologist if you notice anything suspicious.
Exercising may exacerbate existing skin problems such as acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. However, the benefits far outweigh the possible skin side-effects from exercise. Additionally, by working with your dermatologist, you’ll likely find solutions to battle your skin issues while getting all benefits exercise has to offer.
If you’re under 18 years old and live in the state of California or Vermont, say goodbye to tanning bed use once and for all. California stepped up and became the first state in the nation to ban the use of indoor tanning beds for all minors under 18. The CA ban went into effect on January 1, 2012, followed by Vermont on July 1, 2012 – both monumental dates in the anti-tanning movement.
“According to (California) State Senator Ted Lieu, who introduced and sponsored the legislation on its long journey through the state assembly, the bill’s successful passage provides hope that similar action can be achieved in other states across the United States. ‘I strongly believe that this law is a good model for other states and countries to follow,’ says Mr. Lieu. ‘Every year the evidence is more overwhelming that tanning greatly increases one’s likelihood of skin cancer, which is why we need to keep pushing the envelope to bring about more legislation to restrict indoor tanning,’ Mr. Lieu notes.”
The National Council of State Governments has assembled an easy to read graph and table for state indoor tanning laws and regulations for minors for a side by side comparison. Visit their website to learn more about the anti-tanning legislation in your state.
Make your voice heard.
If you believe indoor tanning devices should receive the maximum amount of regulation, which more closely matches the health risks of these harmful devices, write a letter of support to your state elected representatives urging the FDA to regulate tanning beds and ban those under 18 from using them. You can also email The Skin Cancer Foundation at email@example.com. The Foundation will compile all emails of support and send them to the FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg’s office.
When thinking about your 2013 New Year’s Resolutions, consider making a conscious effort to prevent skin cancer in 2013. Yes, skin cancer is preventable in many cases. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually (Skin Cancer Foundation).
Prevention starts with education, and knowing exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVA – aging, and UVB – burning rays) from the sun and tanning beds contributes to your risk of developing skin cancer. The good news is an individual can take simple steps to ensure a lifetime of healthy skin and still enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer.
3 Simple New Years Resolutions for Healthy Skin in 2013:
1. Incorporate sun protection into your daily routine.
Use sun protection every day of the year. Even if you are indoors, windows allow UVA rays to penetrate the glass (glass blocks UVB rays). Start by incorporating sunscreen into your daily routine. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on your face and all exposed skin. If you wear makeup, apply a face sunscreen underneath your foundation even if your foundation has SPF, as most people don’t use a thick enough application to provide adequate sun protection. (Click here for dermatologist recommended face sunscreens.) If you’ll be outdoors for an extended period of time, wear a wide brim hat, UV400 sunglasses and UPF 50+ sun protective clothing. If you cannot wear sun protective clothing, apply sunscreen underneath your T-shirt since most regular clothing offers less than SPF 30 protection. Not only will this keep your skin healthy, but as added incentive, you’ll look younger longer since UV rays significantly contribute to visible signs of aging.
2. Perform a self-skin exam every month and track your mole changes.
You know your body best, so you’ll likely be the first to notice changes in the skin. Also, when caught early, skin cancer is easily treatable in most cases. This is why performing a self-skin exam is important. Print this body map from the Skin Cancer Foundation and then look for the following:
1. A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored.
2. A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that: changes color, increases in size or thickness, changes in texture, is irregular in outline, is bigger than 6mm or 1/4”, the size of a pencil eraser, appears after age 21.
3. A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed.
4. An open sore that does not heal within three weeks.
If you notice any change in an existing mole or discover a new one that looks suspicious, see a physician immediately.
3. Make time for a full-body skin cancer screening with a board-certified dermatologist once per year.
While you should check your skin every month, a board-certified dermatologist that works with skin every day may notice changes that you didn’t. Schedule an annual skin cancer screening to ensure your skin is healthy as can be!
The American Academy of Dermatology designates the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday (5/6/2013). Dermatology offices often provide free skin cancer screenings. Find a free skin cancer screening on the AAD website or by calling your local dermatology office. Mark your calendars now!
Have a great 2013 and keep your skin healthy!
– Coolibar, Sun Protection You Wear
Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.
The words cancer and glamour are rarely used in the same sentence…that is until now. We love the work that Cancer Be Glammed is doing to help women recover from cancer with confidence, self-esteem and style. Lisa Lurie, the company’s co-founder, shares her inspiration for starting this organization. And if you are looking for some good holiday gift ideas for the survivor in your life, Lisa’s team has some excellent suggestions. They even have a personal concierge.
Cancer and Glam are two words that most women don’t associate together. As a cancer survivor and co-founder of Cancer Be Glammed, I am determined to change that.
Cancer Be Glammed was born from the frustration I felt during my own battle with breast cancer. Following my diagnosis, I underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. Like most women who are quickly thrown onto the cancer rollercoaster, I was totally unprepared for the side effects of surgery and treatment. Side effects that included permanent physical changes, hair loss, weight issues, and skin made ultra-sensitive to the sun.
It was soul destroying for me to look into the mirror. I could barely recognize the tired, bloated woman in the sweatpants, baggy top, and bandana– staring back.
When I recovered, I co-founded, Cancer Be Glammed. Our goal–to prepare women for the side effects of surgery and treatment, and to provide them with easy access to fashionable products and style solutions to help them maintain their self-esteem and lifestyle.
On our website, www.CancerBeGlammed.com, women can shop for practical yet stylish products like beautiful headscarves and wraps, skin care that pampers and heals treatment sensitive skin, and great sun protective hats, clothing, and accessories.
In addition, we feature ideal gifts like journals, eReaders, soothing teas, and more that a woman going through treatment will use and appreciate. Our Personal Concierge can help a woman choose items for herself or make gift recommendations to family members or friends.
Through our blog, Facebook, Twitter and other media, we are bringing together a community of women sharing their own advice on how to “Recover In Style.” Cancer treatment is so hard, looking and feeling better — shouldn’t be.
Manly men (and dermatologists) know that a good skin care routine can preserve youthfulness, reduce acne outbreaks and ingrown hairs, and promote general good health in addition to fighting skin cancer. Great looking skin will improve the way you look and feel and doesn’t require hours of grooming.
It’s been well documented that men take less interest in their skin health than women do. Consequently, as they age, men have more unprotected sun exposure and develop more skin cancers, including melanoma. That’s why it’s more important than ever for guys to be proactive and incorporate a daily skin care routine that includes sunscreen.
Men, follow these four simple steps for healthy glowing skin, no man make-up required.
1. Cleanse– You don’t have to wash your face with a harsh astringent. Harsh soaps strip off what’s called the acid mantle, a layer of oil that you’re supposed to have — it’s like protective cellophane. Plus, 7 percent of men are allergic to the artificial scents and chemicals in soaps. So use pH-balanced or gentle soap — soaps made with olive oil or peppermint or oatmeal.
2. Exfoliate– To keep your skin glowing try to exfoliate. Exfoliation sloughs off the dead skin cells, smoothes the skin’s texture, and promotes circulation. There are physical exfoliators (scrubs) which contain ingredients such as seaweed, ground apricot seeds, or some sort of granulation. Chemical exfoliators, typically a cream or in a cleanser, dissolve dead skin cells allowing your skin to breathe better. For the best results, exfoliate once to twice a week.
3. Moisturize– In the morning, a lot of men splash on alcohol-based astringents, colognes, and aftershaves. This is okay and gives you a nice, bracing sting, but there’s no health benefit, and they can dry your face out. Use a cream-based moisturizer that contains the most important ingredient in any unguent: sunblock. Then at night, smear on a moisturizer that contains antioxidants, which actually rejuvenate your skin while you sleep.
4. Protect – The best way to prevent signs of aging is to use a moisturizer with a sunscreen included or to use a sunscreen after you’ve applied your daily moisturizer. Using a sunscreen is one of the most important things you can do for your skin, as wrinkles and age spots are caused and worsened by sun exposure. For the maximum benefit, use a braod spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB.
Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem
We recently received some great feedback from a new Coolibar customer after his trip to Taiwan. Cory expressed what we try to convey, he just does it much better. Cory’s note is below.
“I wanted to let you know that I recently purchased an XXL Blue Sky Sun Shirt on the recommendation of Tim Ferriss. I got it right before a trip to Taiwan. It was perfect.
I wore it during the hot, humid day to keep cool and protected from the sun.
I wore it to a semi-formal meeting where it fit in just fine.
I wore it on a boat between scuba dives.
I wore it on a scooter around the island of Lanyu after I got a little too much sun one day.
I wore it on the plane ride home because I was so comfy.
I never write letters about products, but I was compelled after the experience I had with this shirt. Thanks for making a great product.”
Cory H. Washington DC
About Cory Originally from Kentucky, Cory is an entrepreneur, a former officer in the Air Force and a high school basketball coach. He loves to travel! He once rode a bicycle from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa. He is always up for a good old fashioned road trip in his truck…he lived out of it for two years while exploring the U.S. He also writes about music on his blog yobigbro.com.
Happy birthday to Coolibar! As we celebrate our 11th birthday we wanted to take a moment and reflect on our successes over the past year. 2012 has proven to be busier than ever with an updated catalog, exciting new designs and a growing list of customers. As we continue to evolve, know that we are resolute in our commitment to providing the highest quality sun protection. We want families to be healthy while enjoying their time outdoors. We thank you, our customers, for making 2012 a great year!
Highlights from 2012
Fresh New Designs – The first wave of products from our newest designer, Alicia Pizzo, became available to our customers. Our catalog hit with an exciting mix of new silhouettes and colors for the entire family.
Launched Sponsored Athlete Program – We called for applications to become a 2012 Coolibar Sponsored Athlete last winter, and we were astounded by the number of responses. There were so many remarkable applications that it was impossible to choose just 5 athletes, so we picked 10. Our athletes have continued to inspire throughout the season.
First Coolibar Sweepstakes – The first ever Coolibar-sponsored sweepstakes took place this past spring. One lucky winner (and her husband) won a week-long vacation to Honolulu, Hawaii. Coolibar provided airfare, accommodations and $500 worth of Coolibar sunwear.
Record Shipping Day– Memorial Day weekend was a record-breaker for Coolibar. Our warehouse shipped the greatest number of packages ever for one weekend. With record heat across the country, our customers were preparing for a SunAWARE summer.
Camp Discovery Donation– Through our outreach program Coolibar Cares, we were able to provide UPF 50+ sun hats to all campers that attended the American Academy of Dermatology’s Camp Discovery for young people with chronic skin conditions. A crew from Coolibar visited Camp Knutson in MN and distrubted Coolibar swim shirts, hats, and goggles.
Sun Safe Media Coverage– Media coverage on the important role sun protection plays in overall health, anti-aging and skin cancer prevention continued throughout the year. Coolibar had product on the Today Show, in the New York Times, O, the Oprah Magazine, Time.com and on countless blogs. As the public becomes educated on the need for sun protection and the innovative tools to do it, tanning will become a fad of the past.
Only people with light colored skin can get skin cancer—right? The truth is that anyone of any ethnic background is susceptible to all types of skin cancer including melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is in fact more common in Caucasians. When caught early and treated soon after, skin cancer is almost always curable. However, it’s more likely to be fatal in people of color because it’s usually detected at later stages.
Dermatologist Dr. Charles Crutchfield III, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in ethnic skin, is also concerned that people of color oftentimes believe they’re protected from skin cancer and that if a cancerous lesion develops, it’s not as recognizable. “Skin hue can affect the way lesions look,” Crutchfield says. “Things that appear red in white skin often look completely different in skin of color.” In the past, teachers generally demonstrated skin cancer cases on fair-skinned people, making it more challenging for physicians to recognize suspicious moles on darker skin.
People with darker skin tones do have more “natural” protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Cells in the outermost layer of skin called melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin and eyes their color. This pigmentation helps protect the skin against the sun’s ultraviolet rays that can lead to skin cancer and premature aging. “In African American skin, melanin provides a sun protection factor (SPF) approximately equivalent to 13.4, compared to 3.4 in white skin,” states the SCF.
“Pigmentation doesn’t give you a free pass,” says Crutchfield. “It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, anyone can get skin cancer.” Crutchfield also notes that even though pigmentation does offer some sun protection, that using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and broad-spectrum coverage is recommended for everyone. “I also recommend sun protective clothing and sun hats with a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) as it’s more effective and easier to use than sunscreen alone,” says Crutchfield. Crutchfield, along with other skin cancer prevention organizations, hope that ethnic groups will soon pick-up the message and start protecting themselves from the sun.
Marion Lepert, windsurfer and Coolibar athlete, spends almost 10 hours a day in the sun. She recently returned from the US Nationals in Hood River, OR where she became the 2012 US National Women Overall Champion. While there, she used her Coolibar Stash Pocket Swim Shirt on the water. Now she shares her thoughts on its on-course performance.
What are you overall thoughts on the shirt?
This is a terrific shirt to wear for water activities. I have tried many sun protection swim shirts over the years, but this one is my favorite. It is light, comfortable, and practical. I also like that it is not just a swim shirt, but can also be easily worn off the water.
What activities did you partake in when wearing the shirt?
I wear this shirt when I go windsurfing in the summer.
What are your favorite features?
My favorite feature is the fabric because of how it handles water. I also like the cut and the shirt’s special features: the thumbhole sleeves and the stash pocket. When I do not have my Coolibar gloves handy, I put on my thumbhole sleeves and know that my hands will stay protected from the sun. I also like the stash pocket because it is a great way to keep keys or sun protection lip balm on me.
What are your overall thoughts on the fabric?
I think the fabric is what distinguishes this shirt most from other swim shirts I have tried. Unlike other shirts, this shirt does not feel heavy or sticky after I fall in the water. It stays light and dries fast.
Did the fabric meet your expectations?
The fabric exceeded my expectations!
Did the fabric and shirt keep you cool?
The shirt does keep me cool. This is true even when I am in the hot sun and still dry on my windsurfing board.
Did the fabric stick to your skin?
No, the fabric did not stick to my skin.
What do you want others to know about this shirt?
This is a must have for anybody spending time in the water. With sunscreens not working well in the water, this shirt offers a more reliable way of staying protected from the sun. It is light and comfortable and makes being in the water enjoyable without having to worry about the sun. I definitely recommend it!