I always tell my patients in San Diego that like any other form of cancer, the chances of treatment for skin cancer increases with early detection. And it is even better if patients would practice measures to prevent skin cancer and lower the likelihood of getting the disease especially if they are at high risk for it.
Preventing skin cancer involves changing habits that you have every day, little things that you will be surprised actually helps prevent this fatal condition. For example, when going out note that the sun’s UV rays are at its strongest during the hours of 11AM until 4PM. It is during this time that you have to protect your skin the most. How do you do this?
When outside, try to stay under a shade. You could use an umbrella, a wide-brimmed hat, or just choose to stay under the shade of the tree that blocks out the sun’s harmful rays. Not many people are aware that even if it is cloudy, about 80% of the sun’s rays still penetrate through clouds so it is still important to protect your skin even if it doesn’t appear that sunny outside.
A little goes a long way. Always remember to wear a sunscreen when going out. Wear a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 1 and make sure that it contains both UVB and UVA protection. Apply this about 15 to 30 minutes before going outside and make sure that you reapply every 2 hours if you will be exposed to the sun for an extended period.
Aside from the hazards of the sun, you should also protect yourself from the dangers of tanning salon and sunlamps as overexposure may also cause skin cancer. These types of light actually emit as much as 5 times more UVA radiation than natural light and aside from putting you at risk for skin cancer, it can also cause premature skin aging and sunburn.
Children at also at risk of developing skin cancer so make sure that you also protect them. As early as 6 month of age, they can already wear sunscreen. Make sure that you give them protective sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection. When in the water, choose waterproof sunscreen for them to use.
If you have any moles or skin discolorations, make sure to check them periodically for any changes in size, color, and texture as any changes could possibly be a sign of skin cancer, so it’s better to be on the safe side.
To learn more about preventing skin cancer at Dr. Nowak’s cosmetic surgery practice in San Diego, contact us at (619) 420-1840 or fill out our contact form to schedule your private consultation today. We look forward to your visit!