4 Ways to Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer

Who doesn’t love the feeling of warm sunshine on their skin? I have been a sun lover most of my life.  I look back and remember the crazy things we used to do (which I don’t recommend) to try to get a darker tan.  The sun felt so great, and we loved the healthy glow of a summer tan. As I aged, or as I got wiser, I began to understand and realize the importance of protecting my skin along with protecting my children’s skin. Skin damage doesn’t just happen at the beach or at the ball games.  Each time you head out whether it is to run errands, walk the dog, go to work, grab the mail, you are exposing your skin to the sun.  All of this exposure without sun protection adds to skin damage which ultimately can also lead to skin cancer.  Early detection can make a difference in treatment and the severity, although no single method of sun defense can protect you 100%.


4 Ways that the Skin Cancer Foundation Recommends to Protect Your Skin

Do a self-check.  Did you know that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70? The Skin Cancer Foundationrecommends that everyone practice a monthly self-examination from head to toe. This will  help keep track of any changes to existing moles or freckles, and any new spots as well. Because skin cancer is curable if detected early, it’s important to put this on your monthly calendar! Be sure to promptly visit your doctor if you see anything unusual.

Schedule a visit with a Dermatologist.  If you aren’t sure how to do a self-check, start with a professional: Book an appointment with a Dermatologist.  They can show you how to perform a self-check and what to look for as you monitor your skin between visits.  They can also recommend the type of products you need for your skin and other prevention suggestions for your skin. 

Ask your hairdresser to keep an eye out for any changes to your scalp.  You might be surprised how many people have been diagnosed through their hairdresser or barber who found a new mole or spot on their scalp, or behind their ears.  Many people in the hair industry are educated in looking for skin cancer signs, so don’t be afraid to ask them to keep an eye out, especially if you are at higher risk for skin cancer.  It’s much easier for them to see your scalp than you. 

Practice preventive tactics.  You’ve heard them all before, but it’s worth repeating:  Stay out of the sun during peak hours, typically between 10am to 2pm local time.  Wear sunscreen, and don’t forget to apply it to your hands, feet and scalp.  The Skin Cancer Foundation advises everyone to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher everyday.  For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.  Reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.  Clothing made with fabric labeled with a UPF number (ultraviolet protection factor) can be a great barrier against the sun’s harmful UV rays.  Wear UV blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes.  Wear a wide brim hat, roughly 3 inches all the way around, to help shade your eyes, ears, face and neck.  

Protect your Kids, Too!

The CDC recommends your kids use sunscreen, too! They also recommend reapplying every two hours, wearing a hat, and to stay in the shade or under an umbrella. Enjoy the great outdoors, while protecting yourself from Skin Cancer.

The following products will help you stay safe in the sun. If you click the link and/or purchase the product SLG2, Inc may receive a small commission.

Read more health and wellness articles from Pilar:

10 Safety Tips For Exercising in the Heat

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