Published on July 16, 2018
If you’ve ever had a sunburn, you know it can cause anything from mild discomfort to extreme pain. Recently, a quick sunburn remedy went viral when a woman shared her DIY shaving cream trick to relieve pain and redness. While sunburn remedies can be temporarily helpful, it’s important to remember that no sunburn soothing methods can reverse the most dangerous result of sunburns: skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in the U.S. and also the most preventable. About 87,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, each year, and more than three million people are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer each year.
While a sunburn can be soothed, it’s a sign that your skin has been damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. By the time skin has burned, the risk of skin cancer has increased. On average, having more than five sunburns doubles your risk for developing melanoma. Knowing there is a quick remedy for sunburn redness and pain should not be used as a justification to skip protective and preventive measures. While menthol shaving cream may be a simple trick to relieve your skin, there are also easy ways to prevent sunburns and reduce your risk of skin cancer. Instead of stocking up on extra shaving cream, make sure you always have plenty of SPF 30 or higher sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection, and reapply your sunscreen every two hours if you stay in the sun, even on cloudy days. Another simple method to avoid sunburns and reduce your risk of skin cancer is to wear protective clothing, such as hats and sunglasses.
If you do end up getting burned: don’t panic. Getting a sunburn does increase your risk of skin cancer, but it does not automatically mean you will get it. Keep an eye on your skin and use the ABCDE rule when looking at moles. If you notice any changes to your skin, talk to your health care professional. You should also have your health care professional examine your skin annually, even if you have never had a sunburn.
By taking proactive steps to prevent sunburns, you can reduce your risk of skin cancer and save your shaving cream for shaving.