If you try and try tanning and never get any color, you’d better stop trying and pay close attention because your skin color is probably very clear and therefore it’s the most likely to develop a type of skin cancer called melanoma, which is one of the most aggressive -although less common- types of cancer.
People with fair skin and these three characteristics are the most vulnerable, according to the National Cancer Institute:
• Clear skin that becomes freckled and burns easily, does not tan or tans badly.
• Blue, green or other light eye color.
• Blonde or redhead.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, by the year 2014 there were almost 1,400 cases of skin cancer in men and 1,314 cases in women.
According to data from the 2015 Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), every year 100 people with melanoma are diagnosed, and about 40 people die.
Melanoma is the formation of malignant (cancerous) cells in the cells that give color to the skin. This can occur anywhere and factors such as unusual moles, exposure to sunlight and health history can affect the risk of suffering from it.
Katherine Rodriguez, general practitioner of the Biblical Clinic, explained that skin colors are classified dermatologically between grades 1 and 4. It depends on the risk that people have to suffer this type of cancer.
• Grade 1: very white people, probably albino, blond or redheads with clear eye color, which makes the sun’s rays penetrate easier. This skin type is much more susceptible to burns and that the cells become malignant.
• Grade 2: people with white skin and probably dark hair, who if exposed to the sun, usually take a tan color.
• Grade 3: people with brown skin color that can easily take a darker shade if exposed to the sun and do not burn.
• Grade 4: people with dark and thick skin, eye color and hair, have a little more protection from the sun’s rays or ultraviolet rays.
Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body. In males it is found more frequently in the upper body, in the head and the neck. In women, it is most often formed on the arms and legs.
People should pay attention to any of the following changes in a mole:
1. Size, shape or color.
2. Rough edges.
3. More than one color.
6. If it oozes, bleeds or seems ulcerated.
7. Satellite moles (new moles growing near an existing one).
Sun exposure has cumulative effects on the skin, warned Dr. Rodriguez.
Another risk factor is having more than 50 moles in your entire body, because it generates a greater possibility that some change their shape or regularity. Family history can also increase the possibilities of suffering from this disease.
The specialist warned that the recommendation is to avoid excessive exposure to the sun and use protection against ultraviolet rays.