People over the age of 40 have a higher risk of skin cancer than their younger counterparts. However, this doesn't mean that you cannot get skin cancer if you are young; anybody can get it. Here are some of the ways you can get skin cancer even at a young age:
Overexposure to Sunlight
Many young people spend a lot of time in the sun in the name of fun. This is all good, as long as you limit your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun because too much UV radiation is a recognized risk factor for skin cancer. In fact, it's estimated that experiencing one episode of sunburn every couple of years is enough to triple your risk of skin cancer. Therefore, if you love the outdoors, take these measures to limit your sunlight exposure:
- Use sunburn
- Wear wide hats and sunglasses
- Go to the shade when your skin starts turning pink or red
- Stay in the shade when the sun is too hot
- Cover up your skin when you are outdoors
Overuse of Tanning Beds
Both the young and the old care for their looks, but most people will agree that the young tend to be more bossed with their looks. Nearly 60% of college students admit to using tanning beds as compared to 35% of adults. Unfortunately, the artificial light sources in tanning beds emit dangerous UV radiation just like natural sunlight. To make matters worse, people are starting to use tanning products at very young ages. If you start using tanning beds as a teenager, it's not inconceivable that you may begin to experience their side effects in young adulthood.
It doesn't have to be that way, however, because you can reduce your risk of skin cancer by adopting safe tanning practices such as these:
- Use sunless tanning sprays instead of UV-emitting lights.
- Know that artificial base tan doesn't protect you from sunlight damage; in fact, it makes it even more likely.
- Don't start tanning at a very young age.
- Dot use tanning as a means of getting vitamin D; it won't give you the vitamin. Supplement the amount of vitamin D you get from natural sunlight with those you get from your diet.
- Obey government regulations on indoor tanning.
Hopefully, you won't develop skin cancer whether you are young or old. If you do develop the disease (or any other skin condition), however, don't despair because various forms of treatments are available to deal with the disease; consult a dermatologist for more information.