Did you know that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month? It makes sense, with May being the peak of warm spring weather.
The sun starts to stay out a bit longer, and many venture outside to enjoy the sunshine. However, while the sun has benefits, spending too long in it unprotected, can be dangerous for your health. In fact, too much sun can cause headaches, nausea, dehydration, dizziness, heat stroke, and sunburns.
These symptoms may go away after a while of being out of the sun, but the damage from long term sun exposure doesn’t often show until we age. Harmful UV rays from sunlight can cause skin to age early, and even wrinkle. Even worse this damage can lead to skin cancer, and with 3.3 million people diagnosed annually, it’s important to understand how to prevent skin cancer with these tips.
Sunscreen is your best friend.
Always wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, and re-apply it every 2 hours. Sunscreen is key to preventing skin damage and cancer, especially if you’re in an area with minimal shade and have minimal clothing on (like a beach). Even on cloudy days though, your skin is still susceptible to sun damage, so don’t go without it.
Make sure you always use sunscreen that has broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) protection, and is water resistant if you plan to swim or do strenuous physical activity.
Speaking of physical activity, if you plan to do anything during the day, make sure you apply your sunscreen at least 30 minutes beforehand. Sunscreen needs time to absorb, and putting it on too soon can cause it to come off.
Plan your time outdoors wisely.
If you’re wondering how to prevent skin cancer, remember that the sun is strongest between 10AM and 4PM, and it becomes stronger as the summer months push on. Before you head outdoors, check your local UV index to see what you should wear, and how you should prepare.
Take a break and seek shade.
Whether you’re at the beach or walking outdoors, it’s important to give your skin a break. Wearing a broad-brimmed hat or bringing an umbrella with you can help protect sensitive areas like shoulders, chest, face, and scalp from too much sun exposure.
Additionally, something like a sun tent can help protect you in areas where there is little to no shade.
Don’t forget sunglasses!
Sunglasses help protect one of your body’s most delicate organs – your eyes. Sun damage can affect your eyes too, causing your eyelids to droop, premature wrinkles around the eyes, and even cataracts. Make sure your eyes are protected from the sun with UV protected sunglasses each and every time you go into the sunshine.
The best way to prevent skin damage and cancer is to avoid UV tanning beds or long term tanning outdoors. While you may love having a tan in the summer, it’s important to realize that tanning is your body’s way of protecting itself from UV rays that it has been exposed to. These rays trigger your body to produce melanin, or the brown pigment that makes your skin look tan. Eventually, this can turn into a sunburn, a sign that your skin has been permanently damaged.
Opt for lotions or moisturizers that contain bronzers if you’re wondering how to prevent skin cancer, but still want that glowing tan look.
Know the early signs of skin cancer.
It’s important to check your skin regularly for unusual changes or growths on your skin. If anything seems odd, bring it to your doctor’s attention immediately.
Melanoma, one of the deadliest and most common type of skin cancer, typically causes moles, sores, lumps, and other markings. More than not these can be harmless, but some warning signs include:
- discoloration or a mole with multiple colors
- a sore that won’t heal
- An asymmetrical marking
- Sudden change in the marking
- A large marking
- A marking that produces a feeling of itchiness, pain, or tenderness
- A change in the surface of the mole or marking (oozing, bleeding, lumpiness)
Skin cancer is nothing to joke about, and with millions of Americans diagnosed with it every year, we hope these tips on how to prevent skin cancer helped you. It’s good to be healthy, and if you actively keep your health in check, consider getting life insurance for your family before it’s too late. The healthier you are now, the less expensive it will be for you to protect your family in the future. Simply click the button below for a free quote today.