Worried About Skin Cancer? Here's 5 Ways To Prevent It

Posted on: 21 October 2020

In the United States, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. Although the rates are high, there are many ways to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. They are all simple measures you can easily add to your daily life.

There are three types of skin cancer: malignant melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer; however, it is the most dangerous. This is because it may spread to other organs at a rapid pace if not stopped and treated in its early stages.

Most skin cancer is mainly caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light which damages the DNA in skin cells. Repeated sunburn can also increase your risk of skin cancer. Thanks to modern dermatology research, we know how to prevent skin cancer.

Five Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

  1. Use sunscreen liberally. When using sunscreen, make sure to use one that has a Sun Protection Factor of 15 or higher. There are two types of UV rays that can put you at risk: UVA and UVB. It is important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) is the recommended amount of sunscreen for the body.
  2. Avoid spending time directly in the sun. Direct sun exposure, especially between 10 am to 4 pm, is harmful to the skin. 10 am to 4 pm is when the UV rays are strongest.
  3. Cover up your skin. Although short sleeves are a common choice for a sunny day, long and loose cotton sleeves are a better choice for your skin's health. Covering your skin under the sunlight is important if you are spending time in the sun. Wearing a brimmed hat will also protect your face.
  4. Don't use tanning beds. It is a commonly believed myth that indoor tanning cannot cause skin cancer. This is false, as tanning beds emit UV rays. Indoor tanning can increase the risk of developing all types of skin cancer.
  5. Wear Sunglasses. Although sunglasses protect your vision and eyes, they also help protect the skin around your eyes. Make sure to purchase UV blocking sunglasses that protect against both UVA and UVB.

With just these five simple measures, your risk of developing skin cancer can decrease significantly. If you feel as though you may be at risk of developing skin cancer, please consult your doctor or a dermatologist. For more information about skin cancer, contact a local physician.