Skin Cancer Awareness Month: 5 Ways You Can Protect Yourself
What to Know About Protecting from Skin Cancer
Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is a nasty business. Finding out you have skin cancer can be truly disheartening, but there’s good news. There are several ways you can protect yourself from developing skin cancer with very simple and easy lifestyle changes.
We’ve put together this quick guide so you and your family can stay protected. Simply follow these steps and you’ll significantly reduce your chances of developing skin cancer.
#1 Limit Exposure to Ultraviolet Rays
That beautiful sun we see every morning is the main culprit behind a majority of skin cancer cases. The sun rains down ultraviolet rays that are filled with dangerously high levels of radiation. The radiation breaks down our DNA, leading to the development of cancer cells. Staying out unexposed in the sun is a good way to absorb too many UV rays. If at all possible, try your best to stay out of direct sunlight. This also includes tanning beds. It may be artificial sunlight, but tanning beds emit very real ultraviolet rays. This is direct up-close and personal exposure and can be extremely dangerous, especially for people with fair skin and light-colored hair who are at high risk of developing skin cancer.
#2 Wear Sunscreen or Sunblock
When avoiding direct sunlight isn’t an option, your next best bet is to wear sunblock or sunscreen. These aren’t simple cosmetic products. These products are incredibly crucial in protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Most people don’t realize this, but there is a difference between sunblock and sunscreen.
Sunblock tends to be more effective than sunscreen. The moment sunblock is applied, it immediately begins to block the UV rays from penetrating your skin. Sunscreen, on the other hand, absorbs the UV rays rather than repel it. The absorbed rays don’t get a chance to reach your skin keeping you moderately safe from harm.
#3 Wear Protective Clothing
Protective clothing can go a long way in shielding your skin from the sun. We know that long sleeves and long pants aren’t ideal apparel for a hot day, but it just may save your skin (pun intended). There are types of gear, however, that do a good job reflecting the UV rays and even the heat, making them perfect for those extended periods of sun exposure. Let’s not underestimate the power of a regular old baseball cap and your typical sun hat. Anything you can wear to keep the sun from scorching your skin will do the trick.
#4 Go for Regular Skin Cancer Screenings
Nothing is more important than regular skin cancer screening. Once a year, you should meet with your dermatologists to be fully examined. He or she will look for unusual growths, open sores, and changes in moles. Screening is the best way to detect skin cancer early enough to be treated successfully.
#5 Give Yourself a Self-Examine
Outside of professional screenings, you can do at home checks with a couple of mirrors and maybe help from a family member. Carefully scan your body for moles you don’t recognize and any possible changes. Use this guide to determine whether or not your mole may be problematic. Should you discover any issues, contact your doctor immediately.
Protecting yourself from skin cancer is pretty easy. Do all that you can on your own, but if you are in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and are ready for your annual screening, our experts at The Dermatology Group are ready for you. Give us a call today!