Gone are the days when you’d lie out like an iguana and soak in the sun. Now that you’re older and wiser, you’re trying to be smarter about protecting your skin. Good thing, too, because melanoma, the second most common form of skin cancer in women aged 15 to 29, has increased 6.1 percent annually in Caucasian women younger than 44, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Yet while you may have nixed that sunbathing habit, other things you may be doing could increase your skin cancer odds without you even knowing it. Here are six to put on your radar:
1 MISTAKE: Sitting too close to a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL)
The Fix: You know that skin-damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays come from the sun. But a lightbulb? Turns out that CFLs with defective coatings could leak UVA, UVB and UVC rays, all of which can harm skin. In one study, most of the CFL bulbs that researchers tested had defects in the coating, leaking UV to different degrees. That UV is measured in terms of threshold limit value (TLV), or the level to which it’s believed a person could be exposed on a daily basis (for eight hours) without adverse effects. TLV for some of the bulbs was reached in less than an hour, some in only a few minutes, making that leaked amount potentially harmful, says Miriam Rafailovich, Ph.D., study co-author and distinguished professor at