Connect With Kids: Warning Signs Of Skin Damage

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 2:52 PM CDT

Posted by Melissa Burlaga

On the surface, it seems that skin cancer might be easily detected.

But a new survey by the American academy of dermatology reports that too many of us don't look out for warning signs.

And teens, in particular, are not taking precautions when it comes to the sun.

Barbara Reyelts has more from Connect with Kids.

Like many people teenagers love the water and worship the sun.

Most admit they know the dangers.

"Skin cancer, sun damage..."

"And that maybe in the future your skin will get all wrinkly."

They know it's important to protect their skin.

"They tell me to wear sunscreen or wear a hat if I'm gonna be out in the sun."

But most teens don't .

"Skin cancer is really becoming an epidemic these days."

A new survey by the American academy of dermatology reports a large number of people are not taking the time to examine their skin for any changes that could be warning signs of skin cancer.

And 32 percent of those young adults 18 to 29 years old reported never examining their skin - more than any other age group.

Some will get melanoma.

"Melanoma of course is the most devastating cancer and the one that can lead to death."

And most skin cancer is caused by exposure to the sun before the age of 18 !

"And so all of this sun exposure that we have accumulated in our childhood just gradually adds upon itself until when we're older and our immune system is not as strong we then get skin cancer."

Experts say parents should make sure their kids stay away from tanning beds, stay out of the mid-day sun, always use sunscreen, and remind them over and over.

"How important it is to protect their skin because lifetime risk of skin cancer is increasing dramatically."

Still what may impact teens the most is to,

"See someone they care about have something bad happen to them because of the sun."

"Maybe that would change their minds."

Some research suggests that using sunscreen in childhood can reduce the risk of developing certain skin cancers by as much as 78%.