Updated guidelines for avoiding skin cancer

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends counseling to children and young adults (ages 10-24) with fair skin on the effects and dangers of ultraviolet (UV) light exposure.

Dr. Nichter of the Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery would like to make blog readers aware of this new recommendation, which is an update to USPSTF’s 2003 guidelines for physicians on counseling skin cancer patients.

Since 2003, the USPSTF has found evidence that counseling for children and young adults on the risks of UV light exposure is beneficial.

From the USPSTF:

Convincing evidence relates UV radiation exposure during childhood and youth to a moderately increased risk of skin cancer later in life; for adults, adequate evidence links UV radiation exposure to a small increase in the subsequent risk of skin cancer […] Individuals with a fair skin type are at greatly increased risk of skin malignancy.

Counseling encourages people to engage in behaviors that mitigate their UV exposure such as wearing effective sunscreen, reducing midday outdoor activities, wearing hats or UV-protective clothing, and avoiding the use of tanning beds.

Dr. Larry Nichter would like readers and patients to note that although questions remain as to the direct relationship between sun exposure to an increased skin cancer risk, the risk of premature skin aging (laxity, wrinkles, and an eventual leathery appearance) seems to be directly related to cumulative sun exposure without protection for all ages.

Prospective patients who are concerned about UV-induced skin aging should take a look at the skin rejuvenation treatments available at the Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery.

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Source: Medscape Medical News

California bans use of tanning beds by minors

Ultraviolet tanning bed

Governor Jerry Brown has signed a new bill into law which will prohibit the use of ultraviolet tanning beds by people under the age of 18 in California.

California is the first state to ban minors from using tanning beds. The law is intended to protect minors from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light, especially the associated increased risk of skin cancer.

“Skin cancer is a rising epidemic and the leading cause of cancer death for women between 25 and 29,” said the bill’s sponsor, state Senator Ted Lieu.

The new law goes into effect January 1, 2012.

Information and quote from State bans use of tanning beds by minors –Reuters