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Skin Cancer Prevention Guidelines

While you might enjoy basking in the sun, it is still recommended to check into the same as you need to prevent your body from skin cancer. Know about the common skin cancer prevention guidelines for a healthy, prolonged life.

Skin cancer is yet another common type of cancer that affects a majority of individuals all around the world. Skin cancer is referred to as the abnormal changes that occur in the outer layers of the skin. Skin cancer has become, by far, one of the most common cancers in the world. While in most cases, skin cancer can be cured, still it is quite a major disease that you should need to worry about. A report reveals that almost half of the individuals with fair skin and above the age of 65 years might have at least one type of skin cancer. The good news is that most types of skin cancers can be easily avoided by taking some preventive steps, including avoiding excessive exposure to sunlight & UV rays.

Before we dive into the prevention tips to skin cancer and melanoma, here are some of the leading facts that you should know about:

  • Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the USA.
  • UV (Ultra-violet) radiation coming directly from the sun’s rays is one of the primary reasons for skin cancer. UV radiations might also be received from the tanning beds, sunlamps, or booths. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
  • The good news is that skin cancer can be cured when it is diagnosed early. Health professionals, along with families and communities, can work together to ensure the prevention of skin cancer during its early stages.
  • More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancers are diagnosed annually all across the world.

Types of Skin Cancer

Before you get to understand the prevention tips to skin cancer, it is important for you to acknowledge the types of skin cancer at the same time. Broadly, it can be categorized into two main types, including melanoma & non-melanoma.

Squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma –the two most common forms of cancers, are non-melanoma by category. They are rarely life-threatening. The non-melanoma types of skin cancer grow slowly, can be easily detected, and cured easily at the same time. Melanoma –the other category of skin cancer, is quite a deadly one and potentially life-threatening in most cases. It might start as a dark spot on your skin including a mole or even a birthmark. While melanoma is not that tough to detect, it can be cured when diagnosed early. However, it is known to spread faster than other types of skin cancer. It might even spread across beyond the skin layers –reaching other parts of the body including brain & bones.

What are the Symptoms of Skin Cancer?

If you belong to the high-group of skin cancer or have been treated for some kind of skin problems, then you should be aware of the common symptoms related to skin cancer. The experts recommend that you should inspect your skin from head to toe every few weeks as you check your mouth, scalp, palm, genitals, buttocks, and other areas. In case you find some abnormal occurrences, it is recommended to report the same to your doctor.

Some of the general warning signs associated with skin cancer include:

  • An inflamed skin or open wound that would not heal
  • Any change occurring in the size, texture, color, or shape of the moles or other skin growths

Melanoma, which is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, might occur as the following symptoms:

  • A mole that appears larger than a pencil eraser
  • Change in the size, color, or shape of the existing mole
  • A small-sized, multicolored, or dark spot having irregular borders –either flat or elevated, forming a scab or even bleeding
  • A cluster of firm, shiny, dark bumps on the skin

If you are witnessing any of the symptoms above, it is recommended to get them checked as soon as possible to the nearest dermatologist or specialist.

If you are witnessing any of the symptoms above, it is recommended to get them checked as soon as possible to the nearest dermatologist or specialist.

Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

A recent study that was conducted by a team of researchers at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention revealed that around 5 million adults in the United States are treated for some type of skin cancer every year. Moreover, the rates of melanoma occurrences have also doubled in the past few years. However, the majority of these cancers can be prevented. As far as cancer prevention is concerned, it is important to note that awareness is important. Cancer prevention awareness should begin as early as childhood with classes being delivered in schools.

If you wish to know more, here are some of the helpful tips that can help in preventing skin cancer:

  • Cover Up As You Go Outdoors: All of us look forward to enjoying the balmier sun rays of the autumn season. Sunshine makes us warmer and happier. While sunbathing is enjoyable, it is still recommended to keep a check on the same. There is no denying the fact excessive exposure to sunlight on a daily basis can be significantly harmful to the body and skin. Sunlight is known to contain the harmful UV (Ultraviolet) rays –having the ability of cancer.

While it is recommended to stay protected from the harmful sun’s rays, you still cannot become a hermit and keep hiding from the sun. It is advised to be smart as you expose your body to the intense sunlight of the daylight. The experts suggest that you should try avoiding intense sunlight from 10 am to 4 pm.

  • Use High-Quality Sunscreen: When you wish to ensure ample sun protection, the sunscreen plays a vital role. While buying the best sunscreen for your skin, you should look out for the one having a high SPF (Sun protection factor) –considerably above SPF 30 to be assured of the best results. Moreover, the sunscreen should have broad spectrum as well. This implies that the sunscreen is able to provide protection to your body from both the UVA as well as UVB rays of the sun.

It is advised that you should apply an even layer of a high-SPF sunscreen to your body at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun. You should take special care of the exposed areas of your skin, including your face, arms, legs, and other areas. Moreover, if you are continuously exposed to the sunlight, it is recommended to reapply the sunscreen from time to time. This is because most of the sunscreens out there tend to break down after around two to three hours. Moreover, if you tend to go into a water body, you should reapply the sunscreen after drying off –even when you are using a water-resistant sunscreen. Before buying a sunscreen, it is advised that you should go for buying the one with minimal chemicals in its ingredients. You can even go for buying the eco-friendly sample for yourself.

  • Try Staying in the Shade: Even when you are bound to go outdoors due to some work during the peak hours of sunlight –from 10 am to 4 pm, it is recommended that you should try staying in the sunlight for maximum hours. The sun’s rays are at its peak during this hour of the day and deliver maximum damage to your skin due to the harmful UV rays exposure. You can seek shade wherever possible. Carry along an umbrella with you or seek shade under a building or a tree.

When you are out in the sunlight, you should look out for your skin becoming pink or sensitive due to over-exposure. It is also important to note that the UV rays can reach you out even when you are seeking shade from the direct sunlight. Therefore, you should never forget applying your sunscreen or wearing protective clothing outdoors. You can also make it a point to protect your eyes from the glare of the intense sunlight by wearing eye-protective covers like a sunglass.

  • Cover Your Arms & Legs: When you wish to maximize the overall protection of your skin from the harmful UV rays, it is advised that you should aim at covering most of the exposed areas of the body –especially your arms & legs. Additional outdoor clothing might help. Long-sleeved shirts along with long trousers or pants, gloves, and scarves can play an important role in providing additional protection to your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

While light-colored, loose-fitting woven clothing is quite common during the warmer months, it is still important to note that garments that are dark in color or made out of tightly-woven fabric or materials can provide more protection from the UV rays. This is because the clothing that is woven tightly into a fabric is known to block the rays of the sun while the dark color of the fabric absorbs the sun’s rays. Moreover, dry clothing is known to provide more UV protection in comparison to wet clothes.

  • Consider Wearing a Hat: A hat is known to provide protection to your front face from the direct exposure to sunlight. You can go for buying a hat that comes with a wider brim going all the way around your face –providing maximum protection by offering shade to the face, ears, and back of the neck. You might as well consider choosing a hat that comes with a tightly-woven material like the canvas and is dark in color for providing maximum protection from the sun’s UV rays.

While using a hat, it is recommended to avoid the straw hats that allow the sunlight to peep in and reach your skin. If you are wearing a baseball cap, you should aim at protecting your ears as well as the back of the neck area by wearing additional clothing that protects these areas. Otherwise, you should apply a high-SPF sunscreen or try staying in the shade for maximum protection.

  • Avoid Using Tanning Beds: Tanning beds can be compared to cigarettes. As you use them, you are only flirting with yourself to develop cancer in the long run. Tanning beds have been known to develop melanomas –the deadliest skin cancer type out there. While it might be a leading trend to go with the tanned look throughout, the utilization of a tanning bed to achieve the same is only like entering the dungeon.

A study reveals that people who are used to making use of the tanning beds are as much as 2.5 times more prone to developing squamous cell carcinoma & around 1.5 times more prone to developing basal cell carcinoma in the long run. Even the occasional utilization of sunbeds or tanning beds is known to triple your overall chance of developing melanoma. Young people –especially teenagers, are highly sensitive to the UV rays emitted by the tanning beds.

  • Favor Veggies & Fruits: Consuming fresh fruits & veggies is on the top list of the prevention tips of any type of cancer out there. Exposure of the skin or body to the UV rays is known to damage the antioxidants –the chemicals that are responsible for keeping your body healthy. We tend to receive most of the antioxidants from the fresh fruits & veggies –all the plant-based foods. This is the reason most of the health experts suggest that you should consume more fresh fruits & veggies to stay safe from cancer and other major diseases.

Oranges, along with other citrus fruits, are known to be packed with vitamin C. Squash and carrots are known to be rich in beta-carotene. Watermelons and other red-colored fruits are rich in lycopene. Therefore, you should make it a habit to eat at least a small bowl of fresh fruits & veggies per day to ensure yourself a healthy, glowing skin. Moreover, it will also provide ample protection from skin cancer risk.

Take good care of your skin. Stay protected from skin cancer with simple tips.

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