Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. There are two different types of skin cancers: Melanomas and non-melanomas. To understand both of these terms a little better you need to be aware that your skin is divided up into 3 layers: the epidermis, dermis, and sub cutis. The top layer, the epidermis, is very thin and serves to protect the deeper layers of the skin.

The epidermis is also composed of basal cells, which in turn divide to form squamous cells and melanocytes. Melanoma skin cancer develops from the melanocytes and non-melanomas skin cancer develops from the basal and squamous cells. There are 2 types of non-melanomas cancer that result from these cells. The first is basal cell carcinoma; basal cell carcinoma begins in the lowest layer of the epidermis, the basal cell layer. This type of skin cancer tends to be slow growing and is usually is found in areas that are highly exposed to sunlight, such as the head or neck. The second type is called squamous cell carcinoma.

Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for 20% of all skin cancers, and penetrates the skin more than basal cell would, therefore, is considered to be more harmful. Surprisingly, even with these astonishing numbers people still continue to put themselves at risk everyday. The solution to all this is very simple, we all need to wear sunscreen when planning to expose ourselves to the sun. There are also other everyday preventive measures that we can take to decrease our chances of harmful exposure to the sun. It is always helpful to wear a shirt and a hat with a broad brim. Wear sunglasses that absorb 99%-100% of UV rays to help your block your eyes and the skin around your eyes from these harmful rays.

The two most important things for most people who like to tan are to seek shade frequently and to never use tanning beds. You can put your body at even more of a higher risk of contracting skin cancer when staying in the constant heat. One of the most effective ways is to wear sunscreen when out in the sun. Sunscreens are designed to protect against sunburn (UVB rays) and generally provide little protection against UVA rays.

There are two types of sunscreens, chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens contain chemicals such as benzophenone or oxybenzone as the active ingredient. They prevent sunburn by absorbing the ultraviolet rays. Physical sunscreens contain inert minerals such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or talc and work by reflecting the ultraviolet and rays away from the skin. The SPF of a sunscreen applies for UVB rays only. The protection provided against UVA rays in chemical sunscreens is about 10% of the UVB rating.

A sunscreen with a SPF of 15 filters out approximately 94% of the UVB rays. On the other hand, a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 filters out 97%of the UVB rays. So most people are better off using a higher SPF, because it will help to protect you longer in the sun. You can also get waterproof sunscreens for when you will be in the water, and don't have to worry about it washing off.

Tanning beds and beauty are just a few of the reasons why some people choose to pay no attention to their health and instead try to achieve the temporary golden tan. In society today, having a tan is thought to be one of the most attractive and appealing senses to the opposite sex. Unfortunately, tanning beds are used most frequently among teenagers. This is especially harmful because at this age the skin does not have as high of a tolerance for UV rays as and adult's skin would have. Girls tend to show much more revealing clothes to guys, and in some cases their clothes look more appealing when put on a tan body rather than a pasty white body. Wintertime also attract many girls to the tanning salons so that they are able to wear a dress that they want without having to deal with tan lines.

In this day in age we are putting ourselves even more at risk by using these cancer-causing machines more than any other generation. While there are some people that have a higher tolerance for a tan, there are many people who do not, that continue to hurt their bodies. Many of these people could develop skin cancer as they get older, and a key aspect of treatment is identifying the infected area quickly. There are many risk factors that you can determine yourself. If you have a mole that you believe to be abnormal in size that is an obvious warning sign in the development of skin cancer and you should have it checked immediately.

An abnormal mole can be classified as more than 1/4 inch in diameter. One side of the mole could not match the other side, the edges of the mole are ragged or notched, or the color of the mole is not the same all over. People with red / orange hair and many freckles are at a very high at risk, because they are lacking a special chemical that protects most people from many UV rays. Age is also a factor, because many people expose themselves to the harmful rays, but do not develop the actual skin cancer until they are in their late 50 s. So even if you have been good recently at putting on sunscreen you could still get skin cancer based upon the past.

If you were to find out that you developed skin cancer there are many different types of procedures that you could go through to remove the infected area. One of the most common procedures is surgery, the removal of the infected skin and in some cases grafting of skin from another area to replace the damaged skin. Surgery is considered to still be in the beginning stages for skin cancer, and has not spread very much. There are two types of surgery that can be done. One is chemotherapy, which uses drugs to kill cells that appear to have spread beyond the skin to the lymph nodes, and other organs, and the other is radiation therapy, which uses high energy x-rays to kill cancer cells or slow their rate of growth. With all this information facts that are shown, there is really no reason to not put on sunscreen whenever planning to go outside, especially during peak hours of the day.

If beauty is still an issue for many then they should most definitely be putting on sunscreen because a large scar on your face is much less appealing to the opposite sex than a tan line. FACTS- 40 to 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have skin cancer at least once.  Melanomas skin cancer accounts for less than 4% of skin cancer cases, but causes about 79% of skin cancer deaths.  Many fair skinned people have a 20% higher chance to develop skin cancer that dark skinned people By the year 2000, many Americans will have a 1 in 75 lifetime risk of developing melanoma or any other types of skin cancers UVA rays constitute 90-95% of the ultraviolet light reaching the earth.  About 75% of the body's vitamin D supply are generated by the skin's exposure to UVB rays..