3 Dangerous Skin Cancer Myths And Misconceptions You Need To Unlearn

Posted on: 14 November 2017

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Myths about cancer in general are common. However, there's many myths and misconceptions surrounding skin cancer that are outright dangerous. Here are a few misconceptions about skin cancer you may believe. Replace these erroneous beliefs with skin cancer facts instead.

1. Darker Skin Means There's No Chance of Developing Skin Cancer

It's true lighter skin tones can increase the likelihood of skin cancer. Nevertheless, no skin tone has immunity to the possibility of developing skin cancer of one form or another. In fact, this particular myth can cause people with darker skin to pay no attention to the possible development of skin cancer. Or they may not have symptoms investigated sooner rather than later.

2. Sun Protection Only Matters On Hot, Sunny Days

The sun never turns off. It's constantly producing UV light. It doesn't matter if the day is hot or cold. It doesn't matter if you see the sun or if it's behind clouds. Did you know snow could reflect UV rays? Fresh snow increases UV exposure by quite a bit.

Yes, more direct sun exposure can increase the likelihood of skin cancer. But exposure goes far beyond just direct sunlight. Sometimes, the sun doesn't even have to play a significant role. Other factors can contribute to skin cancer development with or without the sun's help. Consider the following:

  • A family history of skin cancer
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Medications that suppress immune system functions
  • Medications that increase sun or heat sensitivity

Because of all these factors, sun protection is important even when the sun isn't making an appearance.

3. You Only Have to Worry About a Particular Body Part

Some people believe you only need to protect your face. Some believe only body parts exposed to the sun are in danger. The truth is that any part of your body can develop skin cancer.

Some forms of skin cancer will form more readily on sun-drenched skin. Some other skin cancers can form literally anywhere. That includes places many people never consider, like underneath the fingernails.

Another part of the body many people never consider is their eyes. Your eyes and eyelids are vulnerable to UV rays. It's possible to develop skin cancer around the eyes. It's also possible to develop a host of non-cancerous eye issues because of the sun.

When you think about UV protection, keep your eyes in mind as well. You can wear sunglasses and a hat to shade them.

Always Seek Out the Facts about Skin Cancer

These only represent a portion of the misconceptions people have about developing skin cancer. It's important you seek out facts and real information about skin cancers and sun protection. Don't trust things you hear about skin cancer without verifying the claim with research.

Skin cancer occurs often. It's the most common form of cancer. It's also very treatable with skin cancer treatments if it's found early. For more information and help with treating skin cancer, contact a dermatology clinic in your area, such as Gateway Dermatology PC.