New Survey Finds Skin Cancer Procedures Outnumber Cosmetic Procedures
New survey data from The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) reports that in 2018, skin cancer procedures outnumbered every type of cosmetic dermatology treatment.
Although cosmetic procedures are on the rise with laser/light procedures running a close second in the survey, the most consistently performed procedures in 2018 were skin cancer treatments. According to data from the survey, there was a 56 percent increase in melanoma in the past seven years. Other survey results include:
3.5 million skin cancer procedures performed in 2018
19% increase in melanoma treatments over 2017
33% increase in skin cancer procedures since 2012
One analysis suggests that the uptick in skin cancer procedures is due to decades of unregulated tanning bed use, primarily among young women. This may now be resulting in the reported increased diagnoses and treatments of potentially life-threatening melanomas and other skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma. Other analyses continue to associate skin cancer rates with sun exposure and others theorize that perhaps an increase in skin cancer awareness may be behind the increase in skin cancer detection and treatment. Which could be viewed as a good thing.
Although further study is needed to determine what’s causing the increase in skin cancer procedures, the fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, that 9,500 Americans – about one out of five – is diagnosed with skin cancer per day prompted a recent U.S. News report to call it “an epidemic.”
Follow through with sun protection in Fall
Prevention remains the best way for you to avoid becoming part of the skin cancer epidemic statistics. The arrival of fall doesn’t mean it’s time to ease up on sun protection. Even though by October, the California sun’s intensity has lessened, its harmful ultraviolet rays are still there – beaming at you through the fog and clouds.
Keep in mind that if there is enough daylight to read by, you need sunscreen. Keep sunscreen near your toothpaste and make applying sunscreen part of your morning routine, like brushing your teeth.
Protect your skin with a few simple rules to help prevent skin cancer all year round:
- Apply a sunscreen daily of SPF 30 or more that is both UVA and UVB protectant. Make sure to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours while outdoors, more frequently if sweating or swimming.
- Cover up with clothing, including UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Wear a hat with an all-around brim of at least four inches.
How to get the most out of your post-summer sun skin check-up
Now is the best time to schedule a skin check-up with a board-certified California Skin Institute dermatologist. Summer activities have subsided, and the busy holiday season hasn’t started. We recommend having a full body skin examination once a year and it makes sense to do this after a summer spent in the sun. Skin cancer is easier to treat* when caught early.
A professional skin exam takes only a short time out of your day. But it can save your life.
To make the most of your appointment:
- Check your skin beforehand and take note of any new, changing or unusual growths on your skin.
- Remove any nail polish from your fingernails and toenails.
- Point out to your dermatologist any new or changed spots you’ve noticed.
- Be prepared for your dermatologist to examine hard-to-reach areas like the scalp, soles of the feet and between the toes.
- Ask your dermatologist any questions you have. No question is unimportant to us at California Skin Institute.
If your California Skin Institute dermatologist detects something suspicious, a biopsy can provide a scientifically sound definitive answer. If skin cancer is the diagnosis, California Skin Institute then will develop a treatment plan that can incorporate treatments noted for high cure rates and minimal scarring. You can learn more about skin cancer and California Skin Institute treatment options here.
*Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.