Here are some tips to help prevent skin cancer:
Wear sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 60 or higher. “Broad-spectrum” provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Reapply approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
Keep covered. Wear protective clothing, such as a longsleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, when possible. It is best if the clothing has a rating of UPF 50 to ensure appropriate sun protection.
Avoid being outdoors during the brightest parts of the day (usually 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) as much as you can. If you are outside and your shadow appears shorter than you are, seek shade when possible.
Use extra caution near water, snow and sand because they reflect and intensify the damaging rays for the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn.
Sunburn means your skin has been damaged. Ultraviolet light enters the skin to damage your cell’s DNA (your body’s instruction manual). Repeated exposure to ultraviolet light can cause a lot of problems:
- brown spots
- eye problems
- saggy skin
- skin cancer
Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look tan, consider using a self-tanning product or spray, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
In the United States, more than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually and one person dies from melanoma every hour. Examine your skin monthly and report any changes to a dermatologist as soon as possible. Then if it is skin cancer, you will have the best chance of it being diagnosed in its earliest, most treatable stage.
For an appointment with a dermatologist call (541) 382-4900.