This Summer, Take Care of Your Skin (Part 1 of 2)

August 19, 2012

An Interview with Dr. David Weingold on Preventing Skin Cancer

The Friday before Memorial Day was “No Fry Day,” the day designated by the Environmental Protection Agency and dermatologists across the United States as a day on the brink of summer to raise awareness about skin cancer, sun exposure, and ultraviolet radiation. Dr. David Weingold, an Arkansas dermatologist, answered questions about skin protection, risky behaviors, and cancer screening.

Question: What group of people are at the greatest risk for skin cancer?

Dr. Weingold: While skin cancer can strike anyone, those with the palest skin have the greatest risk of developing it. Other groups with a higher than normal risk of developing cancer include those who work outside, those who receive frequent sunburns, and those who use tanning beds.

Question: Why are tanning beds so risky?

Dr. Weingold: A recent study found that people who use tanning beds before the age of 35 are 75 percent more likely to develop a melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, than people who do not use tanning beds. A typical session in a tanning bed delivers as much ultraviolet radiation as an entire day at the beach. In 2009, the World Health Organization declared them a carcinogen for that reason.

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