After the bitter cold of a long winter there is nothing like being out in the sun during a warm summer day. However, you should keep in mind that those hours on the beach, in the sun can have an effect on you for the rest of your life, it can even reduce your lifespan. Melanoma is characterized by the uncontrollable growth of pigment cells, it is considered the most sever form of skin cancer and is directly correlated to sun exposure. There are several steps that you can take today to reduce your chances of getting skin cancer, while still enjoying the summer sun.
Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer
Stay Out of Direct Sun During Sunny Hours
One of the best ways of preventing sun damage is by staying out of the sun when it is at its highest, usually between the hours of 10 and 4 PM.
Make Sure to Wear Sunscreen
If you do need to be out in the sun, make sure to wear sunscreen of at least SPF 25. Make sure to reapply every hour or more often if you are being active. While it may not seem to be the pinnacle of summer fashion, wearing longer sleeves and a hat can also protect your skin from harmful rays.
Avoid Sunning and Tanning Beds
Some people feel like they need that sun kissed look during the summer, but the truth is with every bit of tanning comes skin damage that will, over time, make your skin look older. You can still get your bronze look by using sunless tanner or by getting a spray tan.
Check Your Skin Regularly
If you have preexisting moles they could be early warning signs. Research has show that if you have more than 50 moles, or atypical moles, also known as dysplastic compound nevus you are at an increased risk of developing melanoma. It is important to monitor the size and shape of any dysplastic compound nevus and see a dermatologist if there are any changes.
Consult with a Dermatologist
If you do have several dysplastic compound nevus make sure to visit a dermatologist regularly. Only a trained dermatology and skin care specialists can accurately asses whether a skin blemish is cancerous. The good news is that when melanoma is caught early it has a higher probability of being cured, but when left untreated it can spread to other organs.
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