Tag Archives: skin

Ready or Not Mosquitoes Are Coming!

Being outdoors this summer can be great for exercising, cooking out, sunbathing, or doing some much-needed gardening.  Whatever activity you decide, understand that mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects are outside with you.

South Carolina is home to at least 61 different species of mosquitoes.  They may carry viruses, such as dengue, zika, West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, and malaria.

DHEC works in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor mosquito populations for diseases that can be spread to humans. Local governments also play a key role in protecting citizens through spraying and cleanup effortsClick here to find a listing of local mosquito control programs.

mosquito gif.gif

The first and most important line of defense is for you to protect yourself and help to prevent mosquito bites.  Make sure to eliminate mosquito breeding areas, and use insect repellent when outside. The mosquitoes are coming, but they don’t have to ruin your summer.

Be Sun Safe: May is Skin Cancer Prevention Month

Sundress and shorts season has officially begun.  Are you protected?  According to the 2018 South Carolina Health Assessment, melanoma of skin (skin cancer) is the 5th leading cause of new cancer cases in the state (see below).

Skin Cancer Table

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with nearly 5 million people treated each year?  Skin cancer is caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and other sources such as tanning beds.  Anyone can get skin cancer, but it can be cured if found and treated early.  Talk to your doctor if you notice any unusual moles or changes to your skin.

Whether you are taking a trip to the beach or doing some much-needed gardening, it is important to protect your skin from the sun.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block UVA and UVB rays
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) or 15 or higher, and both UVA and UV protection
  • Avoid indoor tanning

Being in the sun does not have to be worrisome.  Just make sure you protect yourself. Visit the CDC for more fun safety tips and  follow their  hashtag #SunSafeSelfie for pictures of people all over the world who are taking action to protect themselves from the sun – and having fun while doing it!

DHEC in the News: Free sunscreen, obesity, smoke-free college campuses

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Free sunscreen now available in dispensers at Riverdogs stadium

Forgot your sunscreen? There may soon be dispensers of the stuff on the path to the beach and in the area’s parks.

There are already 10 of the sunscreen receptacles at the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park stadium, installed last Sunday. The SPF 30 sunscreen is free at the dispensers.

The initiative is intended to help bring down cases of melanoma. More cases of the skin cancer have been diagnosed every year in South Carolina, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

 General Interest

CDC Says Obesity Higher in Rural Versus Urban Counties

On June 15, the CDC released a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)(www.cdc.gov) that found the prevalence of obesity was higher, at 34.2 percent, among U.S. adults living in nonmetropolitan counties than the 28.7 percent prevalence among those living in metropolitan counties.

This research was based on state-level data from the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an annual random-digit-dialed telephone survey of adults 18 and older. The CDC and state and territorial health departments conduct the BRFSS to monitor health conditions and related behaviors.

CDC: College Campuses Increasingly Go Smoke-Free

Twice as many colleges and universities in the U.S. had smoke-free or tobacco-free policies in 2017 than in 2012, according to the CDC and American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF).

The vast majority of the 2,082 colleges and universities with anti-smoking policies as of November 2017 were tobacco free, meaning they had banned not only conventional cigarette smoking, but all other tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes and hookah use.

Protect Your Skin!

By Betsy Crick

skin cancer detection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, and DHEC wants you to be prepared before heading outdoors this summer.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, either from the sun or from artificial sources like tanning beds.

Lower Your Skin Cancer Risk

To lower your skin cancer risk, protect your skin from the sun and avoid indoor tanning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends these easy options:

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs
  • Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher – and both UVA and            UVB protection
  • Avoid indoor tanning

Sunscreen Tips

  • Sunscreens are assigned an SPF number that rates their effectiveness in blocking UV rays. Higher numbers indicate more protection. You should use a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15.
  • Sunscreen wears off. Put it on again if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.
  • Check the sunscreen’s expiration date. Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years, but its shelf life is shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.
  • Some makeup and lip balms contain some of the same chemicals used in sunscreens. If they do not have at least SPF 15, don’t use them by themselves.

Knowledge is power – with these tips and tricks, your skin is sure to have a healthy, happy summer!