Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers, but it is also one of the most preventable. Usually caused by prolonged exposure to the sun, there are many things you can do to help prevent the development of skin cancer. This brief article explains some of the things you can do to reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Change Your Attitude To Tanning
Many people feel that tanned skin looks better than pale skin, but as the American Academy of Dermatology explains, tanned skin simply means that your skin has been damaged, speeding up the signs of ageing and increasing your risk of skin cancer. Not only is tanning in the sun dangerous, sunbeds also pose a significant risk to your skin, with the Melanoma Research Alliance explaining that indoor tanning increases your melanoma risk by up to 75%. If you really want a tanned skin, try fake tan - but don't forget to wear sunscreen with it!
Be Sensible In The Sun
Spending time in the sun is a fun and appealing idea, but you should always take precautions to protect your skin. Keep yourself in the shade during the hottest part of the day, and ensure that you apply ample amounts of sunscreen. Cancer Council Australia recommends using 35 ml of sunscreen for a full-body application and reapplying every two hours. Wear clothes that cover as much as possible, and apply extra cream if you have been sweating or swimming. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention suggest that you should also invest in a good pair of wrap-around sunglasses, as well as a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and ears.
Think About Your Diet
The Skin Cancer Foundation lays out a range of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that may help to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, most of which have other health benefits, such as giving the immune system a natural boost. Try adding a couple of brazil nuts or some extra chicken to your diet to bring essential selenium to your diet, or try eating foods that are rich in red-pigmented lycopene, such as tomatoes, watermelon, and apricots.
Perform Regular Skin Checks
Skin cancer isn't always avoidable, but like all cancers, it is much more treatable if caught early. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you examine your own skin once a month, as well as seeing a doctor every year for a professional skin exam. If you have any new, unusual moles or freckles, or are at all worried about your skin, see your GP for a professional opinion.
While skin cancer is a worrying condition, there are many things you can do to reduce the risk of developing it. Learn how to take care of yourself in the sun, eat a healthy and nourishing diet, and work towards developing a good attitude towards tanning and sun exposure. Make sure that you perform regular skin checks, and see your GP if you are worried about any aspect of your skin health.