Knowing ways to prevent skin cancer is pretty valuable if you ask me. It’s a growing concern that can be deadly if left untreated. I’m sure you’ve heard all about the dangers of spending too much time in the sun without protection, but if you want some ways to prevent skin cancer, you’ve come to the right place. Knowing the dangers is important, but understanding how to cut your risk is equally as vital. If you notice a suspicious or changing spot on your skin, get it checked by a dermatologist.
1. Wear Sunscreen
It’s pretty common knowledge, but wearing sunscreen is the absolute top of the list of ways to prevent skin cancer. You should choose at least SPF 30 for everyday use, but go for SPF 50 if you plan to be outdoors for extended amounts of time. Look for water resistant sunscreen if you plan to swim. Reapply your sunscreen every couple of hours to keep your protection as high as possible all day long.
2. Wear a Hat
A hat can do wonders for protecting your face, ears, nose and neck from skin cancer. It offers shade to those areas as well as protecting your eyes from the sun’s rays. Choose a wide brimmed hat for the most benefit. A hat doesn’t replace sunscreen – you should always wear both when you plan to be outside. There are loads of cute options out there so don’t worry that you will have to sacrifice your fashion sense for the sake of sun safety.
3. Seek Shade
You still need sunscreen in the shade because the sun’s rays can still reach you, but sitting in the shade is a great way to reduce your exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays. As often as you can, take a break out of the sun. Under an umbrella is a great option for the pool or the ocean, but you can also sit under a tree at the park of head to the patio if you’re in the backyard.
4. Cover Your Body
Even in summer, it’s a good idea to wear thin clothing over your arms and legs. I’m not a huge fan of this technique, but it’s a really easy way to block the sun’s rays from scorching your extremities. However, some experts say that thin fabrics don’t do that great a job so I opt for sunscreen instead. If you’re at a high risk of skin cancer, talk to your dermatologist about the types of clothing that offer the best protection.
5. Stay Indoors during Peak Hours
In many parts of the world, the sun is brightest at some point between 10 am and 4 pm. I know it’s unreasonable to think you’ll never be outdoors enjoying the sunny weather during those times, but if possible, limit your exposure. These are the time when the sun’s rays are strongest and most damaging so avoiding them when you can is a great way to reduce your skin cancer risk.
6. Wear Sunglasses
The area around your eyes and your actual retinas are pretty sensitive and thin, so protecting them from the sun is a must for preventing skin cancer. Wear sunglasses that wrap around your face a bit and always, always, always apply sunscreen to your face. There are lots of fashionable sunglasses that fit the bill so you can still look your fabulous self.
7. Eat a Healthy Diet
Certain foods are loaded with nutrients that your skin needs to stay healthy and looking great. That includes Vitamin A, which is found in many fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E is another skin-friendly nutrient that you can get from sunflower seeds. You also want to be sure you’re loading up on antioxidants, which fight free radical damage that can lead to skin cancer. They’re found in fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, chocolate and loads of other foods. A well-balanced diet is an easy way to prevent skin cancer as well as lots of other health problems.
Do you know your skin cancer risk? How do you protect yourself?