The most important element of any discussion about the skin or skin cancer is prevention. The best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect yourself by limiting your exposure to the sun and applying liberal amounts of sunscreen when you are outdoors.
The most important element of any discussion about the skin or skin cancer is prevention. This cannot be stressed enough.
Let’s take a look at some of the facts. First, skin cancers are the most common of all cancer types. Second, in the vast majority of cases, skin cancer is caused by over-exposure to the sun and ultraviolet, or UV, rays. The good news is that you can control your exposure to the sun and UV rays. By doing so, you can protect yourself from skin cancer. It’s crucial that you take responsibility for the health of your skin. And it’s really not that difficult.
The best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect yourself by limiting your exposure to the sun and applying liberal amounts of sunscreen when you are outdoors. And it’s not only about keeping yourself safe. It’s equally important to protect children from UV rays by keeping them out of the sun, by applying adequate sunscreen, or covering them with protective clothing. Since sunscreen cannot be used on children under the age of six months, it’s important to keep infants out of the sun or protected with clothing, an umbrella or stroller hood. In addition, people of all ages need to avoid other sources of ultraviolet radiation, such as tanning beds and sun lamps.
If you’re at high risk for skin cancer, it’s vital to know your risk factors. Common risk factors for developing skin cancer include, having light-colored skin, hair and eyes, having a family history of skin cancer and being over age 40. As important as it is to be aware of your risk factors, keep in mind that skin cancer affects people of all skin colors and can occur in those without any risk factors at all.
Whether you’re at high risk or not, screenings are critical when it comes to the prevention and early detection of skin cancer. Screening for potential skin cancer doesn't require any x-rays or blood tests — just your eyes and a mirror. Performing a monthly skin self-exam can help find any changes on your skin and detect potential skin cancer early. According to the American Cancer Society, early detection is the best way to ensure that skin cancer is treated effectively.
By checking your skin regularly, you’ll become familiar with what is normal for you and, hopefully, start a healthy lifetime habit. Keep in mind, if you find any suspicious skin changes report them to your healthcare provider immediately.