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Tips to Lower Your Risk of Skin Cancer

Did you know that skin cancer is currently the most widespread form of cancer among people living in the United States? While you may think there’s no harm in one day of soaking up the sun on a beach without sunscreen, you increase your risk of developing carcinoma or melanoma. Read on for some tips to help you take care of your skin and reduce the risk of getting skin cancer.

What is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is a response to exposure to harmful rays of light. This type of cancer comes in three main forms: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma begin in basal or squamous cells of the skin, while melanoma begins in the melanocytes and can spread to other parts of the body, that is why melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Skin-Saving Strategies

    • Stay Away From Tanning Beds

We know how much everyone desires glowy, sun-kissed skin, especially during the coldest parts of the year when it’s hard to get a natural tan. That being said, indoor tanning–whether it’s tanning beds and booths or sun beds or lamps–uses ultraviolet rays to get that bronzing effect. Over time, exposure to UV rays does enormous damage to the skin and often causes cancer. Skip tanning beds in favor of spray tans for an instant, painless glow.

    • Wear Clothing That Protects You From Harmful Rays

Shielding your skin from ultraviolet rays is super important in skin cancer prevention. Even on the coldest days of the year, sun exposure can have a negative impact. If you can’t avoid direct sunlight during the late morning until late afternoon, try instead to invest in clothing with sun protection. Wear wide-brimmed hats to protect your face, layers that cover your arms and legs, or clothing with UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) properties.

    • Slather on Sun Protective Sunblock

When spending the day outside, make sure to apply broad spectrum sunscreen. Look for products with an SPF of 30 or higher for the surest protection, and make sure to reapply every few hours, especially if you are sweating or swimming. Taking just a few minutes to slather on the sunscreen (or get those hard-to-reach places on your friend’s back for them) is worth it to avoid skin cancer.

    • Perform Regular Skin Checks

Another important way to avoid getting skin cancer is to be aware of what is going on with your skin. Note any changes, such as itchy or bleeding spots, to address with your doctor. Look over your moles and sunspots to check for anything that looks a little off. You probably won’t feel symptoms of skin cancer until it’s too late, so keeping an eye on your skin is important for cancer prevention.

    • Make an Appointment With a Dermatologist

The most important step in lowering your risk of skin cancer is making an appointment with a dermatologist. Whether you caught a mole that looks suspicious or you just want to check in and make sure everything is ok, speaking with a professional is a great way to stay on top of your skin health and put your mind at ease.
Our experienced team is always there to support you and lend their expert advice on all skin issues. Reach out to book an appointment today!