How to protect against skin cancer?

Skin cancer is mainly caused by extreme exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, or even from indoor tanning. However, some people can contract the condition without necessarily being exposed to sunlight. Statistics from the American Cancer Society show that it’s the most common form of tumor in United States. Though it usually develops in areas that directly face the sun, it can still form in places which don’t get regular sunrays. There are two types of skin cancers known as melanomas and basal, each having its own unique characteristics. Considering the serious health risks posed by this condition, people are advised to use the following skin cancer protection tips for maximum safety.

The most important step is avoiding exposure to intense sunlight. For most people living in North America, the sun is at its strongest point between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Limit your outdoor activities during this time and preferably schedule them for other safer hours of the day, or even when the sky has become cloudy. Dense clouds offer some amount of protection from destructive rays. Avoiding the sun during its most intense moments will keep sunburns and suntans at bay, these conditions can otherwise cause skin damage.

Continuous exposure to the sun over a long period of time also increases the likelihood of contracting skin cancer. Hence, it’s appropriate that you wear sunscreen all-year-round for protection. While they don’t necessarily filter out the harmful UV radiation in full, especially those related to melanoma. They still play a huge role in preventing sunrays from causing damage. Preferably use a wide-spectrum sunscreen with at least 15 SPF. Apply it generously over the skin, and reapply after every 2 hours interval, or even more if you're going out for swimming or perspire a lot during the day. Also spread it on your lips, ear tips, back of the neck and hands. On other normal occasions, apply 2 tablespoons of sunscreen lotion over your body approximately 30 minutes before heading out. Reapply the ointment regularly throughout the day as mentioned above.

Additionally, wear appropriate protective gear to compliment the topical balm. Covering your skin with dark, firmly woven clothing that reaches up to the arms and legs would really help. Also get a broad-brimmed hat where possible, it offers more protection than a typical visor or baseball cap. Nowadays some firms also sell photo-protective clothing for those who are interested. If you want one a trained dermatologist can recommend the most appropriate brand to use. Similarly, don’t forget to wear your sunglasses, particularly those that are designed to block both UVA and UVB sunrays.

Furthermore, beware of sun-sensitizing medications that may cause complications. Some common prescriptions to stay away from are antibiotics, they can make your skin become more sensitive to sunlight. Take extra precaution to keep off the sun so as to protect the skin. Also avoid using tanning beds, they emit lights with harmful UV rays that increase your chances of developing skin cancer.

When relaxing near a water body, snow or sand take extra precaution since these surfaces reflect the sun’s damaging rays. Increasing your chances of getting sunburn. Ensure that you receive a decent amount of vitamin D daily through a healthy diet, or supplementation. This nutrient helps keep the skin supple and prevents formation of cancerous cells.

Remember to check your skin regularly for any oddities and report anomalies to the doctor. Check out for changes in freckles, moles, bumps and birthmarks that are in existence. Moreover, you can use mirrors to have a glimpse on your face, ears, neck and scalp. Examine your trunk and chest, as well as tops and underside of the arms and hands. Take a keen look at both the front and backside of your legs, including the feet, soles and toe spaces. Also check your genitalia and between the buttocks for any perceptible changes. If there’s anything unfamiliar with the skin around these parts then consult with a doctor for more direction.

As for newborns, they should entirely be kept away from the sun and sunscreens only used on kids above 6 months of age. These skin cancer protection tips can save you from contracting melanoma which is otherwise deadly. Carefully examine your skin at least once per month, and report to the medic in case a new or rapidly changing spot is detected.