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5 Tips for Skin Cancer Prevention

smiling mom putting sunscreen on her happy child at the beach

The beginning of June means summer is almost here, and for most people, this means more time spent outdoors! However, the sun’s rays can be stronger this time of year, and while they may be inviting, they also pose a significant risk to your skin. Protecting yourself from these harmful rays is crucial in preventing skin cancer. 

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and usually comes in 3 forms.

  1. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): originates from the basal cells and is the most common, often appearing as a waxy bump.

  2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): arises from squamous cells, frequently presenting as a firm, red bump.

  3. Melanoma: the most dangerous type, and can spread rapidly if not detected early. 

Here are some tips to keep your skin safe.

  1. Limit Sun Exposure: avoid being outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest. For infants (under 6 months), avoid direct sun exposure. Keep them in the shade and dress them in long sleeves, pants, and wide-brimmed hats. Only ZnO is recommended for limited sun-exposed areas. For older children over 6 months, use sunscreens containing ZnO or TiO2 to protect their sensitive skin. Check out our blog post, “The Power of Zinc Oxide in Sunscreen” to learn more about why this ingredient is important to look for.  

  1. Apply Sunscreen Daily: According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, the regular use of sunscreen can significantly reduce the risk of skin cancer by shielding your skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of skin tone, age, or gender, with about 1 in 5 Americans developing it in their lifetime. Additionally, sunscreen can help prevent premature skin aging, such as wrinkles and age spots. 

Sunscreen should be applied at least 15 minutes before going outdoors, and reapplied every 2 hours, especially after swimming or sweating. For the average adult, an ounce (about a shot glass) of sunscreen is needed to cover the entire body, without forgetting areas such as the top of your feet, neck, ears, lips, and the top of your head!

  1. Wear Protective Clothing: cover up with long sleeves, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-protection sunglasses.

  1. Avoid Tanning Beds: tanning beds emit UV radiation, significantly increasing the risk of skin cancer and premature skin aging. Opt for self-tanning products if you desire a tan.

  1. Perform Regular Skin Checks: Examine your skin monthly for new growths or changes in existing moles. Early detection is critical for successful treatment.

dermatologist is using dermatoscope for facial skin examination

By following these tips and making sun protection a daily habit, you can enjoy the sunshine safely and reduce your risk of skin cancer!


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