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Protecting Yourself from UV Rays in Fall: Importance of Sunscreen and Skin Cancer Prevention

Actor Hugh Jackman Undergoes Biopsy for Suspected Skin Cancer Recurrence

Renowned actor Hugh Jackman recently underwent a biopsy to investigate the possible recurrence of skin cancer. As a precautionary measure, he was seen sporting a bandage on his nose. The actor shared this update on his Instagram account.

Fall Reminder: Even in Autumn, Protect Yourself from Harmful UV Rays

As we transition into the autumn season and bid farewell to scorching summer heat, the medical community emphasizes the importance of protecting oneself from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Contrary to popular belief, UV rays pose a risk all year round.

Prolonged exposure to strong UV rays can lead to the development of skin cancer. This occurs when skin cells become malignant. Aging individuals are particularly vulnerable to this condition due to years of cumulative UV exposure.

Professor Park Hyang-jun, a dermatology expert at Gachon University’s Gil Hospital, states, “Skin cancer predominantly affects individuals in their 60s or older. Generally, men who engage in extensive outdoor activities have a slightly higher incidence rate. However, among the elderly, women face a greater risk.” He further asserts that the optimal preventive measure against skin cancer is the regular use of sunscreen. “Effectiveness lies in its correct application,” he advises.

Today’s Image: Understanding Skin Cancer

Skin cancer manifests as the gradual growth of small bumps on the skin’s surface, known as papules. When the papules deepen and enlarge, forming lesions referred to as nodules, a potentially cancerous condition emerges. Ulceration occurs as the central portion of the lesion becomes indented and develops a crust, which easily bleeds upon touch.

Various types of skin cancer exist, with basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma being the most common. Basal cell carcinoma is often mistaken for a mole due to its small size and presence on the nasal area. It typically exhibits black pigmentation.

Squamous cell carcinoma, larger than basal cell carcinoma, presents as slightly hardened and congested tissue. It can occur anywhere on the body, particularly in exposed regions such as the face, back of hands, and lip mucosa.

Melanoma lesions are entirely black and varying in size. In Korea, they commonly appear on the hands, soles of feet, and underneath fingernails. If irregular black spots or lines develop in these areas, immediate consultation with a specialist is necessary to investigate potential melanoma.

Actinic keratosis, while not cancerous, can escalate into skin cancer over time. It arises in areas exposed to prolonged sunlight. Typically displaying a red color and rough texture caused by dry dead skin cells, actinic keratosis emerges as one or more patches on the face, lower lip, ears, arms, and back of hands. If left untreated, it may progress into squamous cell carcinoma.

Today’s Image: Early Detection and Prevention Is Key

Fortunately, skin cancer often exhibits a high cure rate when promptly identified and treated. To ward off this condition, correct usage of sunscreen is crucial. It is recommended to apply approximately 2 mg per unit surface area (㎠), which equates to roughly the size of a pea. For exposed areas, approximately 30 ml of sunscreen is necessary for adequate protection. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before heading outdoors and reapply every 2 to 3 hours for continued UV defense.

When selecting sunscreens or products with UV-blocking properties, the blocking index indicated on their packaging is significant. SPF signifies the capacity to shield against UV-B rays, while PA indicates protection against UV-A rays. For daily use, SPF 20 and PA++ are recommended, while SPF 50 or higher and PA+++ are advisable for outdoor activities. Babies under 6 months should avoid sunscreen and rely on protective clothing for UV prevention, whereas older children can follow the same application guidelines as adults.

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Actor Hugh Jackman underwent a biopsy due to suspected recurrence of skin cancer. He puts a bandage on his nose. Hugh Jackman Instagram

As fall approaches and the sweltering heat fades, the medical community has urged people to be careful in protecting themselves from UV rays even in fall.

This is because if the skin is exposed to strong ultraviolet rays for a long time, skin cells become malignant and there is a risk of developing skin cancer. In particular, elderly people are at high risk of skin cancer due to long-term exposure to ultraviolet rays.

Park Hyang-jun, professor of dermatology at Gachon University’s Gil Hospital, said, “Skin cancer mainly occurs in people in their 60s or older, and in general, it is slightly more common in men who do a lot of outdoor activities open, but the incidence rate is higher among women in the very elderly.” He added, “The most effective prevention of skin cancer is the use of sunscreen.” “It’s all about using it correctly,” he said.

Today’s Image

Skin cancer occurs when ‘small bumps’ on the surface of the skin (‘papules’ where the skin rises, ‘nodules’ where the lesion is larger and deeper than the papule) grow gradually and becomes low in the middle, forming an ulcer. At this time, the surface of the ulcer is covered with a crust made of dirty exudate and bleeds easily when touched.

Skin cancer is mainly divided into basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, and the form varies depending on the type of cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is often mistaken for a mole because it often occurs on the nasal area of ​​the face and is small in size and shows black pigment.

Squamous cell carcinoma is larger than basal cell carcinoma, and the surrounding tissue is slightly hard and congested. The place where all parts of the body occur, including exposed parts of the face, back of hands, and mucosa of lips.

Melanoma lesions are completely black and vary in size. In Korea, it occurs most commonly on the hands, soles, hands, and toes, and sometimes occurs under the fingernails (nails). If irregular black spots appear in this area or if black lines appear on the nails, melanoma may be suspected and you should see a specialist.

Actinic keratosis, which is not cancer but can develop into skin cancer in the future, literally occurs in areas that have been exposed to sunlight for a long period of time. It is typically red in color and rough to the touch due to dry dead skin cells on the surface. One or more patches appear on exposed areas such as the face, lower lip, ears, arms and back of the hands. If left for a long time, it progresses to squamous cell carcinoma.

Today’s Image

Skin cancer has a high cure rate if found and treated quickly.

Skin cancer can be prevented by using sunscreen correctly. The amount to be applied is 2 mg per unit surface area (㎠), which is about the size of a pea, and about 30 ml is required for adequate application to exposed areas. Apply 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every 2 to 3 hours to ensure UV protection.

Among the ‘blocking index’ shown on the surface of sunscreen and other UV blocking products, SPF refers to the ability to block UV-B rays and PA refers to the ability to block UV-A rays. SPF 20 and PA++ are recommended for daily use, and SPF 50 and above and PA+++ are recommended outdoors. However, for babies under 6 months, it’s best to block UV rays with clothing rather than a blocker, and for older children, use the same method as for adults.

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