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How To Prevent Skin Cancer

Seek Shade In On Sunny Days

How To Prevent Skin Cancer

Taking in a bit of sun is fine , but you need to choose your time wisely. The sun is at its strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in North America. During this time it is best to stay under the cover of an umbrella, leafy tree, or pavilion roof. Even on cloudy days when your risk of burning is lower, UV rays will continue to reach you and cause damage to your skin. Its important to plan activities around this danger zone, staying under cover until the sun begins to fall in the sky. Also, be sure to apply your sunscreen 20 minutes before you step into the light.

How Much Do Factors Like Sun Exposure Ethnicity And Age Affect An Individuals Risk Of Skin Cancer

A person’s lifetime exposure to UV rays from sunburns, tanning booths, and chronic sun exposure is a major risk factor for all types of skin cancer. Those with fair skin are at higher risk because they have less pigment in their skin to protect them from damaging ultraviolet rays. However, it is really important for those with more darkly pigmented skin to know the signs of skin cancer and check their skin too, because although at lower risk, they are not immune. In terms of age, those with older skin have accumulated more damage from the sun, and BCC and SCC typically affect individuals who are middle-aged or older. Melanoma is more “equal-opportunity.” We see cases throughout life, including in the late teens or early 20s, especially in young women who have used indoor tanning.

Complementary And Alternative Therapies

Alternative treatments are aimed at preventing rather than treating skin cancer. Some CAM treatments may reduce the side effects of conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy.

You should never rely on alternative therapies alone for treating skin cancer. Make sure all of your doctors know if you plan to use any CAM therapies along with conventional cancer treatments. Some CAM therapies can interfere with conventional cancer therapies.

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What Actions Cani Take To Protect Myself From Skin Cancer

Many people like to get a tan, especially in thesummer or when on vacation. However, tan or burned skin is a sign of skindamage. It increases your risk for skin cancer. To lower your risk:

Avoid exposure to UV light

  • Try to stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. wheneverpossible. This is when the sun is at its strongest. Seek the shade during thistime.
  • Remember that you can also be exposed to UV rays on cloudy orhazy days. Sun exposure can be risky year-round, not just in the summer.
  • Do not use asunlamp, tanning bed, or tanning booth to get a tan. If you really want a tan,use an artificial tanning lotion.
  • Avoid getting sunburned. Sunburns are more common on brightsunny days, especially when you are in areas where the sun is reflected offwater or snow.

Use sunscreen and protectiveclothing

Check your skin for changes

  • Check your skin often from head to toe to look for any changesin the size, color, or shape of any moles or freckles. Check for any new molesor moles that bleed or become itchy. See your health care provider if younotice changes.
  • Ask your health care provider about a total skin check. Ask ifit should be part of your yearly physical or if you need to see a skinspecialist .

Take other preventive measures

  • Avoid exposure to harmful chemicals, such as arsenic.
  • Have yourhomes water tested for arsenic and other chemicals.
  • Takeprotective measures to avoid exposure to chemicals at work.
  • Keep your immune system healthy.
  • Lowering The Risk Of Skin Cancer

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    If you want to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, an important step is to decrease your exposure to ultraviolet light by avoiding direct sunlight and tanning beds.

    Other tips include:

    • Limit your exposure to the sun, especially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when rays are typically strongest.
    • Seek shade if youre outside.
    • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves and pants.
  • Use sunglasses that protect the eyes from UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher if you plan to be outside longer than 20 minutes.
  • The sunscreen should be water-resistant and protect against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Reapply regularly, especially after sweating or getting out of the water.
  • Check other products for SPF numbers, too, not just sunscreen.
  • The labels on some makeup, clothing and beach accessories include SPF numbers as part of their product information.
  • Avoid sunburns, which have been linked to an increased risk of developing melanoma later in life. This is especially important for children.
  • Avoid tanning booths and beds that use concentrated UV light.
  • The risks are so great that several states prohibit and some countries limit and prohibit the use of tanning beds, especially for teenagers.
  • Expert

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    What Is The Difference Between Melanoma And Other Skin Cancers Like Basal Cell And Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Basal cell carcinoma , squamous cell carcinoma , and melanoma each arise from different cell types in the top layer of the skin. BCC and SCC are far more common than melanoma, and also less dangerous. Each year, over 2 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with BCC and SCC. When detected and treated early, nearly all BCCs and SCCs can be cured. In comparison, approximately 139,000 people will be newly diagnosed this year with melanoma the most deadly form of skin cancer. Unfortunately, melanoma has a greater tendency to aggressively spread beyond the skin, to lymph nodes and internal organs. Thankfully, however, the vast majority of melanomas are caught early and cured.

    How To Prevent Melanoma

    Certainly at least half of cases of melanoma are caused by too much sun, or by being sunburnt earlier in life. So the advice, above, of avoiding too much sun, is all relevant. But many cases of melanoma occur on places which don’t get much sun and also occur in young people who haven’t ever had much sun exposure.

    These types of melanoma are caused by a genetic mutation and are beyond your control. If you do develop melanoma it may have been nothing to do with your lifestyle: don’t feel guilty.

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    Skin Cancer Pictures Early Stages

    If you already visit yourdoctor on a regular basis, then you probably have little to worry about, butcan still raise any issues which you may spot. Later on well deal with some ofthe things to look for which could help you catch skin cancer early on.

    For now, it suffices tosay that having your skin checked out every now and again to make sure that itis in tip top condition would be a great help in preventing skin cancer.

    And at very least, youllend up having healthy skin with any and all other skin conditions being treatedprofessionally.

    When To See A Dermatologist

    Skin Cancer Tips: How To Prevent Skin Cancer For Anglers

    No one is as well-trained as a dermatologist to evaluate your skin, Papadeas says. He recommends that all individuals perform a monthly skin self-check, noting any lesions that are unusual or have changed in any way. Individuals with no additional risk factors for skin cancer should see a dermatologist once a year for a head-to-toe skin examination.

    Each individual with a first-degree relative diagnosed with melanoma has a 50% greater chance of developing melanoma in the future than those without a family history of the disease, so knowing your family history is very important, Braghiroli says. Additional risk factors to be mindful of are having a lot of moles, scars from previous trauma, and chronic/open wounds. Those who have HPV, an autoimmune disease, or who are immunosuppressed are also at greater risk. If you have any of these additional risk factors, you may need to see a dermatologist more frequently.

    If you have spots on your body that meet certain criteria, you should see a dermatologist. Keep an eye on any lesions and monitor the ABCDE characteristics.

    • Asymmetry. Does one half of the area appear different from the other half?
    • Border. Does it have a jagged border or irregular edges?
    • Color. Is there any variation in color within the area of concern?
    • Diameter. Greater than 6mm across, which is about the size of a pencil eraser.
    • Evolving. Has the spot changed from what it used to look like, or is it notably different from the surrounding skin?

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    Who Is At Risk Of Skin Cancer

    People of all ages should protect their skin, but it is even more vital to protect children. Although skin cancer is rare in children, the amount of sun exposure during childhood is thought to increase the risk of developing skin cancer in adult life. Children who have had episodes of sunburn are more likely to develop skin cancers in later life. The skin of children is more delicate and more prone to damage. Therefore, take extra care with children. Babies can be exposed to the sun, but probably for less time than children.

    If you have pale skin, red or fair hair, and freckles, you have the type of skin which burns most easily. This puts you at increased risk of sun-related skin damage and you should take extra care to protect your skin – NEVER allow yourself to burn. If you have pale skin, you do not have as much protective melanin. Skin cancers, especially melanoma, are less common in non-white skin types. However, they can still occur and sun protection is still important even if you have dark skin.

    What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk Of Skin Cancer

    Protection from ultraviolet radiation is important all year, not just during the summer.

    Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet rays. UV rays come from the sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps. UV rays can damage skin cells.

    To lower your risk of getting skin cancer, you can protect your skin from UV rays from the sun and from artificial sources like tanning beds and sunlamps.

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    Avoid Using Tanning Beds

    Please avoid tanning beds as the lights in these beds transmit UV radiation approximately 10 to 15 times stronger than sunlight at peak intensity.

    A study by theSkin Cancer Foundation found that people who used tanning beds before the age of 35 were at an increased risk of developing melanoma.

    If you really want a bronzed and tanned look, go for tanning sprays or creams to prevent damage.

    What Causes Skin Cancer

    Steps to Prevent Skin Cancer

    Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV radiation can also come from tanning beds, tanning booths, or sunlamps.

    Anyone can get skin cancer. Youre at higher risk if you have:

    • Fair skin with freckles
    • Blond or red hair
    • Blue or green eyes

    Youre at increased risk for melanoma, one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer, if you have:

    • Unusual moles
    • A large number of moles
    • A family history of melanoma or unusual moles
    • Fair skin that burns easily
    • A personal history of many blistering sunburns, especially when you were a child or teenager

    Find out more about unusual moles and melanoma risk. And be sure to talk with your doctor or nurse if you have any concerns.

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    Review Any Medications You Take

    Some medicines can cause changes in your skin that make it more sensitive to ultraviolet exposure. Common culprits include certain cholesterol meds, antibiotics, antifungals, NSAIDS, and even birth control pills. Not everyone reacts the same way to drugs, so check this list of medications from the FDA and take extra preventive steps if you happen to be taking one of them. When in doubt, make sure you go over any potential side effects with your doctor or pharmacist.

    Go here to join Prevention Premium , subscribe to the magazine, or get digital-only access.

    How To Prevent Skin Cancer With Food

    In this guide, were goingto explore the various types of skin cancer that are known to exist. Then,well take a look at what causes them. From there, it is just a small hop,skip, and jump to learning how to prevent it.

    Everything we cover isgoing to be as layman-like as possible, so youre not going to need a medicaldegree to understand this guide . Therell be very little medical jargon at all, really.

    Instead, all that you doneed is to be willing to read and spend a little time thinking about what wecover.

    Basically, once youredone with this guide, you wont be a doctor, but you will be able toconfidently say that you know enough about skin cancer to be able to reduceyour own risk of developing it.

    And of course, the risk ofanyone around you too so long as you share what you know.

    Now, lets get started.

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    This Popular Juice May Reduce Your Skin Cancer Risk New Study Says

      One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to an estimate from the American Academy of Dermatology Association , while diagnoses of the most dangerous type have increased significantly in the past five decades. Fortunately, nutrition and cellular scientists have just discovered what may be a really simple way to fend off skin cancer and, you could find this a deliciously welcomed addition to your diet.

      Continue reading to learn which type of juice was just found to play a part in skin cancer prevention. Also, don’t miss One Major Effect Coffee Has on Your Kidneys, New Study Says.

      Why Skin Protection Matters Year

      How to Prevent Skin Cancer

      The sun emits two types of ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB. UVA rays primarily lead to premature skin aging while UVB rays mainly cause sunburns. Ultimately, both types of rays play a role in skin cancer development.

      What’s more, UV rays are reflected off both water and snow, making summer and winter activities particularly harmful to the skin. That’s why protecting your skin against UV damage matters throughout the year.

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      How To Find A Dermatologist

      Here are some resources to help you find a dermatologist near you:

      • If you have health insurance, contact your insurance provider and ask for a list of in-network dermatologists. You can also ask a primary care doctor for a referral.
      • Use a telemedicine app or service to see a dermatologist quickly over a video appointment. Many dermatologists can virtually examine areas that youre concerned about and provide a diagnosis or next steps.
      • Search for dermatologists on sites like Google Maps, Apple Maps, or similar sites to see whats near you, and read reviews to see what other people have experienced

      You can also find a dermatologist by visiting the ADAs Find a dermatologist directory.

      Some questions you may want to prepare as you choose a dermatologist and get ready for your appointment include:

      • Do they specialize in skin cancer treatments, including surgery?
      • Does this dermatologist treat people with your skin tone or color? Are they familiar with conditions that are more common in people with your skin tone or color?
      • Do they accept your insurance or payment in other forms? Are their services covered as medical procedures, or will they be considered elective procedures that may cost more?
      • Do they specialize in the type of care youre looking for? Are they focused on medical treatments or on cosmetic procedures?

      Dont Use Tanning Beds

      Its widely known that tanning beds are linked to skin cancers, including melanoma the deadliest type of skin cancer.

      People who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. And its not just your skin thats at risk: Exposure to the UV radiation that tanning beds emit also can cause cataracts and cancers of your eyes. Snyder says even occasional sunbed use almost triples your chances of developing melanoma. Young people including teenagers are especially sensitive to the UV rays that tanning beds emit.

      If you really prefer the healthy glow of tanned skin, there are many sunless tanners and bronzers available that create that sun-kissed look without the risk of skin cancer. These are cosmetics applied to the skin like a cream or spray and can provide a temporary, artificial tan. The only color additive currently approved by FDA for this purpose is dihydroxyacetone .

      If you do use a sunless tanner, be sure to still apply sunscreen when going out in the sun as most sunless tanning products dont contain sunscreen, she says.

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      Protect Children From The Sun

      Children need special attention, since they tend to spend more time outdoors and can burn more easily. Parents and other caregivers should protect children from excess sun exposure by using the steps above. Children need to be taught about the dangers of too much sun exposure as they become more independent.

      Take Action No Matter What Color Your Skin Is

      10 Ways to Prevent Skin CancerMom it Forward

      Skin cancer can happen in all ethnicities, including persons of color, says Yolanda Lenzy, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and licensed cosmetologist in Chicopee, MA. In fact, reggae star Bob Marley died from malignant melanoma on his foot.

      While its true that more skin pigmentation might lower your risk of developing skin cancer, research shows that people of color die from melanoma at a higher rate than white people. On top of that, consider what sun damage can do to your skin overall, says Susan Chon, M.D., professor of dermatology at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. That may be dyspigmentation, wrinkles, or uneven color.

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