How To Prevent Skin Cancer
If you search “how to prevent skin cancer” on the Internet, you will find a plethora of information on specific products and treatments for the condition. It can often be difficult to sift through all of this information, especially since opinions vary depending on who is giving the advice. To make things a little easier, we have compiled a few tips on how to prevent skin cancer by making small changes to your daily regimen and health practices.
1. Keep out of the sun.
Limit your exposure to the sun, especially during the late morning hours and early afternoon (from around 10 AM to 4 PM). During these hours, the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. Also, check if your geographical region experiences higher UV index levels so that you avoid the hours when the levels are strongest. (As a rule, avoid sun exposure when the UV index is more than 3.)
2. Protect your skin with appropriate clothing.
To minimize your exposure to UV rays, wear clothing that covers your arms and legs. Veer away from sheer or willowy fabrics, as these are rather flimsy in texture and can still let light through. Choose clothes made out of fabrics with a tight weave and a light color; dark colors tend to absorb heat. If you’re out swimming or by the sea, avoid wearing wet clothing over your body as light is still able to penetrate through the fabric. If you’re wearing sunglasses, make sure that it has UV coating, and wear a wide-brimmed hat so that your face is also shaded.
3. Stay in the right kind of shade.
Did you know that UV rays can harm you even if you’re in the shade? If you are seeking shade to avoid UV exposure, make sure to stay under thickly-leaved trees or under sidewalk canopies that don’t absorb reflected heat from the sidewalk or concrete. (Note than even water, snow and sand can reflect up to 80% of UV rays!) When you’re walking outside, create your own shade using a hat or umbrella. Remember that even on a cloudy or misty day, the sun’s UV rays can still cause sunburn.
4. Don’t forget sunscreen!
If you read up on how to prevent skin cancer, you’ll find that applying sunscreen is one of the top must-dos on the list. It’s an extra step to apply sunscreen, but the UVA and UVB protection it gives will literally save your skin! Use a sun block lotion or cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Apply it 20 to 30 minutes before you go outside, and remember to apply more throughout the day, usually every two hours. You need to be diligent about reapplying sunscreen, especially if you’re doing manual labor, field work, outdoor sports, and if you’re at the beach.
5. Steer clear of tanning salons.
The lights used in tanning machines make use of “safe” levels of UVA radiation. But there is nothing truly safe about tanning machines, as these emit around 2 to 5 times more light than natural sunlight! This type of UVA and UVB radiation leads to sunburn, causes wrinkles and premature aging, and worse, increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
Tips For Your Kids In The Sun
6. Keep your kids protected.
Since children often play outdoors, sun exposure can have the most harmful effects when a child is very young. Babies under 1 year of age should avoid direct sunlight. Infants 6 months old and beyond should begin using sunscreen regularly. Also, it’s a good idea to have your children wear age-appropriate sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection so that their eyes are protected against harmful UV rays. Also, children should wear breathable yet tightly-weaved clothing that covers their arms and legs when they are out playing in the sun. Have your kids wear wide brimmed hats, and if they are playing in the pool, make sure you’ve slathered them with waterproof sunscreen.
7. Take note of sun spots, moles and freckles.
Check your body for sun spots, moles and freckles each month and note any changes. These marks are caused by melanin in your skin, which manifests when your skin is exposed to the sun. If you notice more markings than before, discolorations, sores, or bumpy, reddish patches of skin, consult your health care provider immediately. These could be signs of UV damage. A dermatologist skin exam regularly is very important.
Final note: Remember that knowing how to prevent skin cancer is all about making wise choices regarding sun protection and being diligent in practicing these seven sun safety habits. Also, when you are out in the sun it is also possible to get prickly heat and you can study ways to get rid of heat rash . Be aware also that it is easier to get shaving burn rash in the summer if you are a female due to the skin being more dry from heat and sun exposure. Moisturizing is important but check that there isn’t alcohol in the ingredients to avoid drying the skin.