You Should Really Be Wearing SunscreenCaroline Kirby7/30/14 9:26am22814EditPromoteShare to KinjaGo to permalinkThis week, the US surgeon general reinforced that we should all stop sunbathing and start protecting our skin - a new report indicates that the number of cases of deadly melanoma has increased 200% in the last 30 years. AdvertisementEven the House of Representatives is paying attention, passing the Sunscreen Innovation Act with the goal of hurrying along the FDA approval process for new sunscreen products. Not to be outdone, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) got on board with recommendations to reduce these rates in the future, including providing shade in public places. Skin cancer is by far the most common cancer in the United States, affecting 1 in 5 Americans. Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, accounts for over 60,000 of the 5 million cases seen each year. Over 400,000 cases are reportedly due to tanning bed use. Despite a black label warning on the beds and the oft repeated warning that using one is madness, nearly 1/3 of white women ages 16-25 use a tanning bed each year. You may look fantastic with your sun kissed summer skin, but there's a trade off. I vividly remember a friend from childhood dismissing her mother's warnings by saying "by the time I get skin cancer, they'll have found a cure." The idiocy of that statement is what got me to finally start wearing suntan lotion, but the statistics are damning as well. Skin cancer is not something that happens in old age. Melanoma is the most common cancer among adults ages 25-29 and the second most common in ages 15-24. Sun safety is particularly important in children and young adults. A recent study showed that women with five or more blistering sunburns in their youth had a greater likelihood of developing all forms of skin cancer, including melanoma.