Skin cancer is incredibly common. While some instances of it are easy to treat, other skin cancer episodes can be dangerous and deadly as they quickly spread throughout the body. Thankfully, there are numerous ways you can reduce your risk of developing this terrible disease. The majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Therefore, by reducing your exposure to sunlight or to artificial forms of ultraviolet light, you can significantly decrease your chances of getting skin cancer.
Watch Out for the Worst Hours
The sun is brightest and at its most damaging during the hours of 10 in the morning through 2 in the afternoon. While you can still damage your skin before or after these hours, you should try to stay indoors during this period when possible. If you must be outside, be sure to cover up and protect your skin using the tips listed below.
Wear Protective Clothing
While most clothing cannot protect you entirely from the sun’s rays, long-sleeved tops and pants can keep some sun off of you. Consider purchasing clothes with UV protection built in if you spend long hours outside playing sports, gardening or surfing. Additionally, add a hat that protects your face, ears and neck to keep these delicate areas safe.
The Skin Cancer Foundation has upheld their long-standing conviction that wearing sunscreen daily is one of the most important ways you can protect your skin over the long-term. In addition, make sure you choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays.
Avoid Tanning Beds
You should avoid tanning beds at all costs because no matter how safe they claim to be, they all give off some kind of UV radiation. A tan is simply not worth the health of your skin.
Look at Your Skin
At least once a month, check over your entire body for any skin changes. In particular, you are looking for changes to freckles or moles or for any new lesions. Be sure to schedule yearly appointments with our dermatologist as you get older or if you are at high risk for skin cancer.
You must be aware that skin cancer does not merely come from burning yourself repeatedly in the sunshine while lying on the beach. Even one burn can raise your future skin cancer risk.
Additionally, you can be at risk for damaging your skin in some seemingly innocuous spots, such as while driving in a car, sitting near a sunny window for extended periods or engaging in winter sports outdoors. Be sure to wear sunscreen every day, and schedule regular visits at RidgeView Dermatology for checks to ensure that you have no questionable lesions or moles. Contact us today to book your appointment at our office in Lynchburg or Smith Mountain Lake!