Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. An estimated 2 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year, and one person dies from it every hour. It’s important to know that prevention is your first line of defense against this disease. Also, knowing the warning signs of skin cancer is a great way to catch it early. This article will highlight some ways you can go about protecting yourself from skin cancer-the sooner you start, the better!
Limit Your Time In The Sun
Limiting your time in the sun may seem like common sense, but it’s worth noting that staying inside during peak hours is a great way to protect yourself from skin cancer. Peak hours are between 11 am and 12 pm (during mid-day) and between late afternoon and early evening when the sun is at its strongest point of the day. Also, be sure to avoid the sun during hours where you would typically work-or if not, make sure you are wearing protective clothing or sunscreen. Lastly, it’s also a good idea to stay in the shade when possible, as this can reduce your exposure to harmful UV rays.
Use Sunscreen Daily
Sunscreen is another excellent way to protect yourself from skin cancer-just be sure that you are using enough of it! You should be applying SPF 15 or higher every day, regardless of if you’re going out into the sun. If you are spending time outside during peak hours, try wearing protective clothing and reapplying every two hours if necessary. Also, keep in mind that just because there isn’t an “ultraviolet index” number on it doesn’t mean that your sunscreen won’t help prevent damage from occurring; most dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.
Get Enough Vitamin D
A great way to protect yourself from skin cancer is by ensuring you are getting enough vitamin D. Your body must have adequate stores of this vital nutrient, as it can help prevent damage caused by harmful UV rays. It does so by promoting melanin production in your body which helps defend against sunburns and other similar problems. You don’t need a lot of time outside or exposure to harsh sunlight to get all the Vitamin D you need; just fifteen minutes three times per week will be sufficient for most people!
Be Aware Of Your Family History
Be aware of your family history and their risk for developing skin cancer. If you have a parent or other relative who has had the disease, it may be worth mentioning this to your doctor. They will know how much more closely they should monitor you for any signs of melanoma during checkups. This is another reason why early detection can save lives; if caught before it spreads, there’s often no need for chemotherapy!
Eating right goes along with limiting excess exposure to ultraviolet radiation (and therefore reducing the risk for developing skin cancer). If possible, try eating more foods high in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables. Also, you should be limiting your intake of deep-fried foods or processed meats since they can lead to obesity, increasing your risk for several cancers, including melanomas!
Get A Yearly Skin Check
A yearly skin check is another great way for you to protect yourself from cancer and other diseases. During this dermatological visit, the doctor will thoroughly examine any moles or suspicious-looking spots on your body. If they find anything that looks off, don’t worry; it’s more than likely nothing serious and can be easily taken care of with a quick procedure. This service isn’t just limited to people who had melanoma before either; everyone should get checked at least once per year after age 20.
Sunglasses may seem like a silly thing to include on this list, but they can help protect your eyes as well as the rest of your face from harmful UV rays! Some people who have had cataracts removed report that their vision improved after wearing sunglasses regularly. If you’re worried about looking “cool” while protecting yourself from skin cancer and eye damage though-don’t worry; there are plenty of stylish options out there, so be sure to check those out too!
Avoid Tanning Beds
Many people don’t realize that indoor tanning is just as bad, if not worse, than getting a tan from the sun and this isn’t just limited to those who have experienced skin cancer before. Many teens and young adults still use these facilities, although laws now prohibit anyone under age 18 from using them. Unfortunately, many of these places aren’t too strict about verifying your age.
Wear A Hat
Last but certainly not least, wearing a hat is another great way for you to protect yourself from skin cancer. Hats are critical when it comes to protecting the scalp and face. Just think of all that sun exposure your head gets while going about your day! Many people also wear hats for other reasons such as comfort or fashion; there’s no shame in “protecting” yourself this way either! Some companies make unique hats with UV protection built right into them. Check those out if you want something more stylish than simply slathering on sunscreen every two hours.
You can do many other things to protect yourself from skin cancer, but these top ten tips should give you an excellent place to start! If anything on this list seems like it would be difficult for you or your family members (especially children), please consult with your dermatologist before doing so. They’ll help make sure everything goes smoothly and ensure nothing dangerous results.