It’s no secret that skin cancer is on the rise. Thankfully, there are things you can do to decrease your chances of getting skin cancer. Some of the risk factors are ones you can’t escape, but there are some you can. Let’s talk about things that raise your risk so you can be proactive in preventing it.
1. You Go to the Tanning Bed in Preparation for Summer
I went to the tanning bed as a teenager and I deeply regret it. It’s one of the most dangerous things you can do to raise your skin cancer risk. It increases your chances of having Melanoma by 75%, according to this article by skincancer.org. It’s not worth the risk, girls. If you must have a glow, look into a spray tan or use a self-tanning lotion.
2. You Have Fair Skin
Having fair skin puts you at a higher risk of developing skin cancer. For blondes and redheads, it goes up even more. As a very fair-skinned natural blonde, this is no small worry for me, especially coupled with bad tanning habits in the past. But it’s important to be aware. The precautions you take now could drastically cut your risk of developing skin cancer.
3. You’ve Had Many Sunburns in Your Life
Having a lot of previous sunburns in the past ups your risk of developing skin cancer. You can’t go back, but you can do better in the future. Be careful of your sun exposure. Wear sunscreen and avoid the sun when it’s most powerful. Hats and sunglasses help protect you, too.
4. You Don’t Wear Sunscreen or Only Wear a Low SPF
Sunscreen is so important! It’s difficult to even state how much protection it can give you and how much of a risk you’re putting your skin at if you don’t use it or don’t use a high enough SPF. Most dermatologists recommend you use a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30. This article by skincancer.org helps explain why you need this level of sun protection. Sunscreen not only lowers your risk of skin cancer but also protects you from sunburns and premature aging.
5. You Don’t Reapply Your Sunscreen
Sunscreen is not a one time and done thing. You need to reapply it throughout the day and especially if you’re in the water. Reapply every 2 hours and after you towel off at the beach or pool, as that removes some of your sun protection. I’ll completely agree that this is a hassle, but it’s not nearly the problem that having skin cancer would be. I think all of us would agree with that!
6. You Have a Family History of Skin Cancer
Having a family history of skin cancer does raise your risk. You can’t change your family history, but you can be aware of it. This can actually be motivation to be more vigilant with sun protection. It can remind you to be careful with your skin and to see your dermatologist at the first sign of something that looks a little off rather than waiting. With proper precaution, you can still cut your risk way down, even if you do have a family history of skin cancer.
7. You Don’t Pay Attention to Your Skin or Watch for Changes
Not paying attention to your skin can raise your risk of developing skin cancer. Early detection is very important. It can even save your life. It’s so important to be aware of any changes in your skin. In fact, it’s a good idea to give yourself a monthly skin check to make sure nothing is going unnoticed.
These 7 factors can raise your risk of skin cancer. How many do you have? Do you take proper precautions?