Skin Cancer: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe This Summer

By Danielle, age 16, New York

Summer is almost here!! (As a New York resident, we enjoy it all we can, because our summers aren't long!) Many of you are probably just as excited as I am, anticipating the last day of school and preparing for those fun days on the beach! Whether you swim, build sand castles, or just hang out, summer is the best time of year!

But despite those fun days in the sun, there is a serious problem affecting millions of people worldwide, and that number is increasing steadily. That problem is skin cancer. Skin cancer has become the most common form of cancer in the last few decades because people are using less and less protection! Let's face it, cancer is no laughing matter, and no matter how much you're dying to get that irresistible glowing tan, and applying that baby oil sure helps, roughly one million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year. 10,000 of those people will not survive.

Of course, there are people who will say, "Oh, it can never happen to me!" But it can - cancer doesn't discriminate! It can and often will happen to anyone who doesn't use appropriate protection. In fact, as much as one-third of the teenage population does not use skin protection.

You should apply sunscreen within 15-30 minutes before you go outside, and although it's hard, try to avoid the hottest parts of the day (between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm). Eighty percent of all skin cancer cases can be prevented with the use of skin protection. It is recommended that you should use a sunscreen or sunblock with an SPF of 15 or higher.

Believe it or not, certain types of fabric can help keep the sun's ultraviolet rays from burning your skin! Heavy fabrics such as denim and velvet can help protect your skin. Although it can get hot wearing these clothes it makes a huge difference. If you wear a denim jacket alone it has twice the effectiveness of sunscreen in blocking the sun's harmful UV rays. Wearing wide-brimmed hats can also help to keep your face protected, which gives you a reason to go shopping! Not to mention your huge pair of sunglasses which can help protect your eyes!

I'm sure some of you go to tanning booths or know someone who does, and we all know it's bad, but who doesn't love that tan!? It's estimated that 2.3 million teenagers use tanning booths yearly. (Personally, I don't use a tanning booth and I use proper sun protection.) But shockingly tanning booths increase your risk of getting malignant melanoma which is the deadliest type of skin cancer. The risk of getting malignant melanoma is increased by 75 percent for people who start using tanning booths before the age of 35!

I know these facts are scary, but it's the truth, and even if the truth hurts, it's worth it. It will protect you in the end. So I hope you all have a lovely, fun filled (and not a sunburned) summer!

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

Sweet Designs Magazine
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