How to Prevent Skin Cancer?

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Fortunately, most skin cancers are preventable. There are several common tip to prevent people from skin cancer.

Trying to avoid the sun during the middle of the day

Studies show that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Therefore, it is advisable to schedule outdoor activities for other times of the day to avoid directly exposing to the strongest UV rays, even in winter or when the sky is cloudy. You absorb UV radiation year-round and clouds offer little protection from damaging rays. Avoiding the sun at its strongest hours helps you avoid the sunburns and suntans that can lead to skin damage and increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Sun exposure accumulated over time, its accumulative damage can lead to skin cancer.

Wear sunscreen year-round

It is important to know that sunscreens can not filter out all harmful UV radiation, especially the radiation that can lead to melanoma. However, they play a vital role in the overall sun protection program.

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15. With SPF 30 or higher, sunscreen can be helpful for protection from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. You should apply sunscreen generously about 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours, or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring. Use a generous amount of sunscreen on all exposed skin, including your lips, the tips of your ears, and the backs of your hands and neck.

Wear protective clothing

As mentioned above, sunscreens don’t have fully skin protection from UV rays. So cover your skin with dark, tightly woven clothing such as long-sleeved shirt and pants  that covers your arms and legs. Moreover, a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses provide more protection than a baseball cap or visor does. Some companies also provide photoprotective products which can be helpful in some people. Ask your doctor or dermatologist, they can recommend an appropriate brand. Sunglasses are also the effective product that you should not forget. Choosing the one which can block both types of UV radiation — UVA and UVB rays.

Avoid tanning beds

Tanning beds are known as a cancer causer because lights used in tanning beds emit UV rays. Studies show that people who use tanning beds are more likely to have a higher risk to develop skin cancer than people who do not.

Avoid sun-sensitizing medications

Some common prescription and over-the-counter medications, such as antibiotics, cosmetic, can cause your skin more sensitive to sunlight. If you are taking any drugs and wonder about its side effects, you should ask your doctor or your pharmacist. They will let you know and suggest practical solution for your skin problem. If the drugs increase your sensitivity to sunlight, take extra precautions to stay out of the sun or preventions to protect your skin.

Check yourself monthly

Most dermatologists advise to use a hand mirror and a full-length mirror to check your face, neck, ears, and scalp once a month in a well-lighted room. Don’t forget to ask someone to check your posterior. Look for anything out of the ordinary and examine skin for new skin growths or changes in existing moles, freckles, bumps, and birthmarks. If you find any weird mole, you should report it to your doctor.

Get screened yearly

It is important to have a skin cancer screening at least once a year. In some people, doctor can recommend more frequently than normal, depending on patients risk.

Early detection of skin cancer can save your life.  It is important to carefully examine all of your skin once a month.  A new or changing spot should be evaluated and notice to your doctor.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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