According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are almost 10,000 Americans diagnosed with skin cancer every day. That makes skin cancer one of the most common forms of cancer in the country.
Experts estimate that about 20% of people will end up getting diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lives. It can affect those from all walks of life, regardless of what color your skin might be or how old you are.
With all of these things in mind, you should make it your mission to learn how to prevent skin cancer. By taking a few simple steps throughout the course of your life, you can stop skin cancer from taking a toll on you.
Here is a comprehensive guide on how to prevent skin cancer.
Wear Sunscreen Each and Every Day
Most people know that they need to put on sunscreen when they’re headed to the beach or enjoying a day at the water park. But most people don’t realize that they should be wearing sunscreen each and every day, regardless of the season.
Generally speaking, you should apply SPF 15 or 30 sunscreen to your face and any other areas of your body that might be exposed to the sun and its harmful UV rays on a daily basis. Even if it’s winter, sunscreen will work to protect your skin and prevent skin cancer from affecting you.
Avoid Sitting in the Sun for Long Stretches of Time
There’s nothing wrong with going outside and sitting in the sun for a few minutes when you have sunscreen on. There are actually all kinds of health benefits that come along with exposing your skin to sunlight.
The sun can give your body the vitamin D that it needs. Vitamin D can be used to lower blood pressure, improve your heart health, and reduce inflammation.
The sun can also boost your mood and help you fight off depression. It’s why you should try to incorporate some sunlight into your life.
What you shouldn’t do, though, is sit in the sun for hours on end, even if you have sunscreen on. By doing this, you’ll increase your chances of developing skin cancer over time by bombarding your skin with the sun’s UV rays.
Steer Clear of Getting Sunburned
Have you gotten into the habit of getting sunburned almost every time you go to the beach or take a trip to the water park? You should get out of the habit of doing this as soon as you possibly can.
When you get a sunburn—even a mild sunburn that only takes a day or two to clear up—it can cause you to suffer from a lot of pain and itchiness. On top of this, you’re also going to be more likely to develop skin cancer when you’re getting sunburned all the time.
Many people see sunburns as some kind of badge of honor following a beach or water park visit. Rather than looking at a sunburn like this, recognize the damage that you’re doing to your skin when it gets sunburned and do whatever it takes to avoid it.
Stay Out of Tanning Beds
If you like the way that your skin looks when it’s tan, you might spend a lot of time every year lying down inside of tanning beds. Studies have shown that about one-third of Americans spend at least some time inside tanning beds each year.
Tanning beds have become so popular in recent years that most people don’t see the dangers associated with using them anymore. But it’s worth noting that spending too much time in a tanning bed can be harmful to your health.
You might be able to get away with the occasional trip to a tanning bed. But you shouldn’t be spending hours on end in tanning beds every month.
You’re pretty much going to guarantee that you have to deal with skin cancer at one time or another if you make tanning beds part of your regular routine.
Inspect Your Skin Closely Every So Often
When is the last time you took a good, long look at your skin?
We’re not just talking about the skin on your face, either. We’re talking about the skin on your face as well as the skin on your arms, your chest, your stomach, your back, and your legs.
Stand in front of a mirror every so often and use it to inspect your skin from head to toe. If you notice any unusual spots on your skin, you should have them checked out by a doctor right away to see if they could be signs of skin cancer.
Schedule an Annual Appointment With a Dermatologist
There are more than 6,000 dermatology offices scattered throughout the U.S. at this time. Have you visited one of them within the last year?
If you haven’t, now would be the perfect time to make an appointment with a dermatologist. When you’re trying to figure out how to prevent skin cancer, one of the things you’ll find is that working closely with a dermatologist will be of the utmost importance.
A dermatologist can analyze your skin and see if there is anything you should be concerned about. They can also talk to you about how procedures like Mohs surgery can help those dealing with skin cancer.
Learn How to Prevent Skin Cancer and Keep Yourself Healthy
Unlike some other forms of cancer, skin cancer has a very high survival rate. Over 90% of those who catch it early are able to beat it and move on with their lives.
But it’s still important for you to learn how to prevent skin cancer so that you don’t have to worry about fighting it at any point. By doing things like putting on sunscreen and avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, you can stop skin cancer from ever turning into a problem for you.
Find out other ways to keep yourself healthy by checking out the health-related articles on our blog.