Many people live with the fear of developing cancer. The bad news is that nearly 40% of us will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during our lives. The good news is that a lot of cancers can be prevented. Skin cancer is one such form of cancer. It is one of the most common yet preventable cancers around the world.
Tips to Cut Your Risk of Developing Skin Cancer:
- Remember, all sun tans and burns are damage to your skin. There is no such thing as a “safe” tan. That means going to the salon to lay in a tanning bed is going to do as much damage to your skin as a day at the beach. While we may have it in our heads that heathy equals tan, it is not true. If you simply must get that “healthy glow,” the best way to do that is to get a spray or other artificial tan. Also, any of the aging impact the sun has on your skin (wrinkles) are also caused by the tanning bed so that is another reason to skip it. Lest you still think tanning beds are ok, the Skin Cancer Foundation has filed at least one complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding tanning beds and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking into stricter warnings for them.
- Wear sunscreen every day. People think the end of the summer means they put away their summer clothing and the sunscreen gets put away with the rest of it. That is unfortunate because while the temperatures may fall, the sun is still able to burn your skin, do damage and lead you down the road to skin cancer. There is an easy way to keep your skin safe and looking young and healthy, wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 25.
- Wear sunscreen when it is cloudy. It is easy to think that because the say is hazy or cloudy, you no longer need to wear sunscreen. This is not at all true. You should make putting sunscreen on your skin a part of your routine regardless of what the weather forecast says. Like anything else, once you get into the habit of doing something, it is easier to keep it up than to start and stop. Sunscreen is always your friend.
- Reapply your sunscreen often. People think they can apply a sunscreen with an SPF of some high number and they will be protected against skin cancer all day. That is simply not the case. The “SPF” stands for “Sun Protection Factor.” This measurement is an indication of how well the sunscreen can protect your skin. The problem is that even waterproof sunscreen needs to be reapplied. If you are out and about and are sweating (we are all sweating, all of the time). After a new hours, you need to put it on again to get the most protection from skin cancer.
- Keep an eye on your skin. About once a month, you should take a good long look at all of the skin on you body. Invest in a good, full length mirror and put it in a place with good light. Make it a point to check over your skin and not any new or changing moles or marks on your skin. If you find something that is growing and concerns you, you should make an appointment with local skin cancer doctors.
- Get your skin checked periodically. When you go in for your regular yearly check up, you should talk to your primary care doctor about the health of your skin. If you have a history of this kind of cancer or if it runs in your family, you may want to seek out a dermatologist to talk to about your skin.
Every day, new research is done and advancements made on skin cancer treatments and causes. The best treatments at cancer treatment centers is not as good as preventing the development of cancer. Like breast lump screenings, it is important to keep an eye on the heath of your skin to make sure you can identify problems when they are small and easy to deal with. By taking small steps you may prevent getting skin cancer.