Many forms of cancer are difficult to prevent. If you are diagnosed with them, it is just your bad luck. This is not the case with skin cancer.
The skin performs a very important purpose. It protects the body against heat, radiation and infection. The skin also regulates your temperature and produces vitamin D. To the surprise of many, the skin is considered an organ. In fact, it is the largest organ you have.
The skin is surprisingly tough given its thinness. That being said, it can be damaged by exposure to sunlight. This often presents in the form of skin cancer. There are three types of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Squamous occurs in the top level of the skin, basal cell in the middle layer of the skin and melanoma in the deep layers of the skin.
So, how can you prevent skin cancer? As you might expect, there are some practical steps. The first is to reduce your exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation is found in typical daylight, but you can also be exposed to it in heavy doses in tanning booths and under sunlamps. Both should be avoided.
Staying out of the sun completely will prevent skin cancer. Obviously, that is slightly impractical. Living in your home 24/7 will protect you from skin cancer, but it will not do much for your mental stability! In short, you are going to be outside.
While outside, there are some practical steps you can take. Keep in mind the sun is most intense from 11 to 3 each day. Try to wear protective clothing that can cut down on your exposure. This can include hats, shirts and such.
Obviously, some of your skin is going to be exposed to the sun at some point. After all, you might want to go to the beach! If you do, the key to reducing your risk of skin cancer is to ease into it. If you are bone white, don’t go hit the beach for an 8 hour session. You are going to get roasted, even with sunscreen on.
The final practical step is a simple one as well. Wear sunscreen at all times! Many people mistakenly put sunscreen on when they first go outside and then forget about it. Sunscreen only lasts for a certain amount of time depending on the brand. Make sure to reapply it from time to time. This is particularly true if you go in the water regardless of the “waterproof” claims made by the product.