Tweens and teens need sun protection

June 7, 2010 at 1:42 AM
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NEW YORK, June 7 (UPI) -- Two New York dermatologists stress tween and teen girls need to protect themselves against sun damage in the summer.

Dr. Anjali Dahiya and Dr. Desiree Ratner of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center say sun damage occurring in the teen years is most likely the cause of melanomas being found in women 25 to 29. The sometimes deadly skin cancer is ranked the most common cancer in young women in this age group.

"Sun exposure plays a significant role in the development of melanoma," Ratner says in a statement.

Dahiya notes even one blistering sunburn can increase sink cancer risk.

"As few as five sunburns can double your risk of skin cancer," she said.

Dahiya and Ratner say teens should avoid tanning beds, which they say are not good for anyone. They also recommend:

-- Using self-tanning creams to get a safe summer glow.

-- Being wary of freckles, which may be a sign of sustained sun damage.

-- Minimizing sun exposure. In addition to sunscreen -- with both ultraviolet-A and ultraviolet-B blocking ingredients and SPF 30 or more, applied 30 minutes before going outside -- wear hats and sunglasses.

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