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10 Ways To Prevent Skin Cancer

Avoid Being Outside Between 10 Am And 4 Pm

5 Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

In the middle of the day, when the sun is directly overhead, its rays are the strongest. That means you can burn quicker than at other times of the day. The sun has two types of rays, UVA which penetrate deep into the skin and cause aging, and UVB that affect the surface of the skin and cause sunburns. Being out when the UV index is high exposes your skin to more of both types of UV rays.

If you have to be outside during the middle of the day, seek shade as often as possible. If youre eating lunch on a restaurant patio, choose a table with an umbrella. Try to walk on the shady side of the street and sit under a tree at the park. Shade isnt a perfect solution, though. Sunlight filters through leaves and many umbrellas do not block UV light completely either.

Find And Treat Skin Cancer Early

One of the best ways to prevent a poor skin cancer outcome is to find and treat it as soon as possible. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the five-year survival rate for melanoma patients who find and treat their cancer early is 99%.

You are the best person to notice changes in your skin. Whether you have risk factors or not, you should put a reminder on your calendar to perform a thorough monthly skin cancer self-exam. If you notice anything suspicious, get in touch with our office right away. We also recommend that adults schedule a yearly skin exam with a dermatologist to help find any changes that you may miss.

How To Prevent Skin Cancer At Any Age With These 10 Tips

Youll probably find yourself browsing the shelves for sunscreen in the coming days or weeks. You might even wonder how to prevent skin cancer in other ways. Or is relying on SPF lotions or sprays good enough?

Its also tempting to brush it off. Having a mole removed in ten years isnt a big deal. Or is it?

Of all the known cancers, skin cancer is the most common form in the United States, and treating it isnt always so simple. It sometimes requires surgery that goes beyond mole removal, leaving scars, or requiring plastic surgery.

Sometimes it can be even more severe than surgery, especially if you develop the more deadly form of skin cancermelanoma. While this type only accounts for 1% of skin cancers, its more likely to spread to other parts of the body and can even kill you.

But you can take steps to lower your risk even if youve lived a life of sunbathing bliss. Here are some tips for skin cancer prevention that dermatologists want you to know.

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Lowering Your Skin Cancer Risk

Many skin cancers can be prevented with proper skin protection from UV radiation, as shown by several scientific research studies. The simplest method for effective sun protection is to minimize exposure and time under direct sunlight.

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention recommends the following tips to limit exposure to UV radiation:

  • Avoid sun burning and indoor tanning.
  • Wear sun-protective clothing, including wide-brim hats and sunglasses.
  • Choose to take Vitamin D through supplements, rather than from sunlight.
  • Choose sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or higher and apply at least 15 minutes before being outside .

Sunscreens have filters that reflect or absorb UV radiation and protect your skin from the sun. The Sun Protective Factor measures the sunscreens ability to protect against a sunburn reaction the higher the SPF, the more protective it is. Some sunscreens only protect against UVB radiation, but since 2012, FDA issued regulations require a broad spectrum label for sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB radiation.

Sunscreen must be applied liberally, repeatedly and to all sun-exposed parts of the skin. Most people do not apply enough sunscreen to fully achieve the full SPF value, hence, the teaspoon rule.

Use six teaspoons of sunscreen each time you apply:

  • One teaspoon to the face and neck
  • One Teaspoon to the chest and abdomen
  • One Teaspoon to the back
  • One teaspoon to both arms
  • Two teaspoons to both legs

Is Sun Exposure Important To Get Enough Vitamin D

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Sun exposure does play a role in the production of vitamin D, but dermatologists say that there are ways to get yourvitamin D without damaging your skin.

While the sun is a source of vitamin D, the amount of vitamin D a person creates from sun exposure is variable, Sherber says. Since sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends getting adequate vitamin D through dietary sources, including foods naturally rich in vitamin D, foods and beverages fortified with vitamin D, or vitamin D supplements.

Some foods that provide a generous amount of vitamin D include fatty fish, egg yolks, red meat, liver, and mushrooms. Foods such as breakfast cereals and milk are fortified with additional vitamin D.

The National Academy of Medicine recommends 600 IU as the Recommended Dietary Allowance for people 1-70 years of age, 400 IU for infants, and 800 IU for those over 70, Sherber says. While vitamin D is an essential vitamin, having an excess of vitamin D can cause problems such as increasing the risk of kidney stones and bone fractures, so having levels checked can be beneficial.

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Skin Cancer Prevention Is Easy

No single method of skin protection is foolproof, so we recommend using more than one of our strategies, or all of them. While you cant completely eliminate your risk for skin cancer, using the five strategies weve outlined can dramatically reduce your chances. If you have questions about which strategies would be best for you, or to schedule your annual skin cancer screening, schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists today.

Brentwood Dermatology is passionate about preventing and treating skin cancer. To schedule your annual skin exam, call 455-0046.

Use A Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

Use a broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and apply every hour, especially if youve been in the water or have been sweating. As a matter of course, most sunscreens have UVB protection, but may not provide protection against UVA rays. Read the ingredient label before buying to assure it protects against both.

Dont use sunscreens that contain vitamin A. Studies have shown that it may increase melanoma-risk by initiating excessive skin and tumor growth on areas exposed to the sun, while also causing free-radical damage, which is harmful to DNA.

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First Consider Your Cumulative Sun Exposure

Skin cancer is caused by chronic cumulative exposure, not just blasts of sun exposure here and there, says Dr. Herman. Think about all the times you get incidental ultraviolet exposure : walking to your car, taking out the trash, strolling with your dog, running errands, driving .

You may not think those times outdoors count, but they do. Youre getting a lot more exposure through the car and walking around than you realize, and thats why wearing sunscreen daily is so important, says Dr. Herman.

Prevent Skin Cancer Using Ayurvedic Treatment

Tips to avoid skin cancer on Melanoma Monday

Here is a list of 10 Ayurvedic medicines that can help in fighting skin cancer agents, these are natural remedies and easily available, try to add these herbs and remedies in your diet:

  • Aloe vera: It has numerous skin benefits. For starters, it is considered to be a natural sun skin protector. It protects the skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. It stops the production of carcinogens and helps the body to heal faster from cancer.
  • Flaxseeds: Apart from being rich in dietary fiber, this seed contains fatty acid micronutrients and lignans. The latter has the ability to stop the cancerous cells from spreading to other parts of the body.
  • Astralagus: This ayurvedic remedy for skin cancer not only helps to boost the immune system but helps the body produce skin cancer agents, Astralagus has multiple health benefits.
  • Turmeric: This is one of the oldest Ayurvedic herbs that combat a lot of diseases especially skin problems. Turmeric has a crucial component known as curcumin. It is an extremely powerful antioxidant that has the capability to stop the growth of cancerous cells.
  • Bilberry: Due to the availability of free radicals, bilberry tea can counter skin cancer and helps minimize the damage caused by the cancer cells. This Ayurvedic remedy has strong antioxidant properties and helps the body to recover quickly.
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    How To Protect Your Skin From The Sun

  • Apply at least one ounce of sunscreen at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. Also use a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30.

  • Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Make sure it is water resistant and has a SPF of 30 or higher. Other sunscreens may help keep you from getting sunburned, but they wont protect against skin cancer.

  • Be extra careful around water and sand. These surfaces reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of getting a sunburn.

  • Keep babies younger than 6 months old completely covered and in the shade.

  • Limit the amount of time youre in the sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. This is when the sun’s rays are the most intense. Practice the shadow rule: if your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest, and you should find shade.

  • If possible, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Dark clothing with tightly woven fabric blocks more sun than white or loosely woven fabrics. For additional protection, look for clothes made with special sun-protective materials.

  • Accessorize with a hat that shades your face, neck, and ears and a pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses with lenses that have 99% to 100% UV absorption provide optimal protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin.

  • Say No To Tanning Booths

    This should be a no-brainer, but avoid tanning booths, which crank up the UVA radiation exposure up to fives times the amount youd get from natural sunlight. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin and cause photoaging. Tanning beds dial down UVB, which is responsible for Vitamin D production.

    There is considerable evidence that melanoma risk significantly increases with tanning-bed use before the age of 30. Avoid sun lamps as well. Sun exposure from natural sunlight and tanning beds are primary causes of skin cancer.

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    What Causes Skin Cancer

    Skin cancer is the out-of-control growth of abnormal cells in the epidermis, which is the topmost layer of skin. Damaged DNA in the skin cells triggers mutations that cause the cells to multiply rapidly, creating cancerous tumors. The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma , squamous cell carcinoma , and melanoma.

    The main cause of skin cancer is your total lifetime exposure to UV rays, either from the sun or from a tanning bed. While most skin cancers develop on areas of the body that have had sun exposure, skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body, including the nail beds and in the eye. Up to 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are the result of UV exposure.

    While prevention strategies cannot prevent all incidences of skin cancer, taking precautions can lower your risk of developing it significantly.

    As an added bonus, the steps that you take to prevent skin cancer can also reduce the signs of premature aging, like sunspots, wrinkles, and fine lines. People who use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher every day have 24% less skin aging than those who dont use sunscreen daily.

    What Common Forms Does Skin Cancer Take

    Skin Cancer Screening

    Skin cancer can take many forms, but the three most common are:

    • Melanoma makes up a small fraction of skin cancers, but it’s also the most deadly. Symptoms of melanoma include:
    • A large brown spot with darker speckles
    • A mole that changes in color, size or feel, or that bleeds
    • A small lesion with an abnormal border, and sections that appear red, white, blue or bluish-black

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    Protect Yourself With A Complete Approach

    Skin cancer prevention requires a comprehensive approach to protecting yourself against harmful UV radiation.

    Thats because UV radiation from the sun isnt just dangerous, its also sneaky. Not only can it cause premature aging and skin cancer, it reaches you even when youre trying to avoid it penetrating clouds and glass, and bouncing off of snow, water and sand. Whats more, sun damage accumulates over the years, from prolonged outdoor exposure to simple activities like walking the dog, going from your car to the store and bringing in the mail.

    The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you:

    • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
    • Dont get sunburned.

    Wear Upf Clothing When Youre Outdoors

    Many people dont apply sunscreen because they dont want to stop what theyre doing to reapply, or they simply lose track of time and forget to slather more on every two hours. UPF clothing is a great option for people who dont want to worry about refreshing their sun lotion throughout the day because UPF clothings effectiveness does not wear off over time.

    UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor, and its a system of measuring how much UV light an article of clothing blocks. For example, a UPF rating of 50 means that only 1/50th of the suns rays can get through the fabric to reach your skin. You can find many long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and more that provide hassle-free protection for your skin.

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    Perform Regular Skin Cancer Self

    Many types of skin cancer are very treatable if found early, so your best line of defense is yourself. Set a reminder on your calendar to perform a self-check every month. We have a simple eight-step guide that you can use to make sure you perform your skin cancer self-exam thoroughly. You should also see your dermatologist at least once a year, and more often if you have a history of skin cancer, for a professional skin exam. The sooner you find and treat skin cancer, the better your prognosis.

    The Abcde Warning Signs Of Melanomasigns To Look For:

    How to prevent skin cancer

    One half is unlike the other half.

    B = BorderAn irregular scalloped or poorly defined border.

    C = ColorIs varied from one area to another it has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red or blue.

    D = Diameter

    Melanomas are usually greater than 6mm when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.

    E = Evolving

    A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape, or color.

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    Skin Cancer Prevention Can Be Easy

    You dont have to jump into all five of these skin cancer prevention strategies right away. If youre not currently doing any, then start with just one. Every step that you take to reduce your UV exposure adds up and reduces your risk for developing cancer so that you can live a long, healthy life. If you have questions about protecting your skin or you want to schedule your annual skin exam with one of our dermatologists, get in touch with us!

    Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington is passionate about preventing and treating cancer. If you have questions about what you can do to reduce your risk or youre ready to schedule your yearly skin cancer check-up, call us at today.

    Reducing The Risk Of Skin Cancer

    Most skin cancers are at least partially caused by UV exposure, so reducing exposure reduces skin cancer risk. However, one out of every three U.S. adults has been sunburned in the past year, and most do not take recommended actions to protect themselves from the sun., In addition, indoor tanning rates are high among some groups, such as young, non-Hispanic white females, and skin cancer incidence rates are increasing. These facts show a need to take action to improve sun protection behaviors and address the harms of indoor tanning.

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    Federal Policies Legislation And Regulation

    Many federal departments and agencies work on efforts related to skin cancer prevention and control, individually and together. Federal agencies also disseminate information about what works to prevent skin cancer. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its agencies play important roles in skin cancer prevention at the federal level. These agencies include the National Cancer Institute in the National Institutes of Health , CDC, FDA, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. CDC supports Comprehensive Cancer Control Programs in states, tribes, and territories, many of which conduct activities related to skin cancer prevention. Federal entities outside HHS also address skin cancer prevention, including the Federal Trade Commission , EPA, the National Park Service, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration .

    Federal legislation can help support skin cancer prevention and control efforts. For example, the Affordable Care Act includes a 10% excise tax on indoor tanning services and a requirement that nearly all health insurance plans cover USPSTF-recommended preventive services. Recommended services include behavioral counseling for children, adolescents, and young adults aged 10â24 years with fair skin on how to minimize their exposure to UV radiation to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

    For more information on federal activities related to skin cancer prevention, see .

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