Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, with more than 3.5 million cases diagnosed each year. While skin cancer can be deadly, it is also highly preventable. And since May is Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, it’s a great time to learn more about this disease and how to protect yourself and your family.
There are two main types of skin cancer: melanoma and non-melanoma. Melanoma is the more serious type, as it can spread to other parts of the body and be fatal. Non-melanoma skin cancer is much less serious, but can still cause problems if left untreated.
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent skin cancer, following these guidelines can help reduce your risk.
Stay in the shade whenever possible
When you’re at the beach, pool, or park, take advantage of any shade that is available. umbrellas, trees, and buildings can all provide relief from the sun’s harmful rays.
Wear sunscreen every day, even in the winter
You might not think you need sunscreen in the winter, but the sun’s rays can be just as harmful in the colder months. Be sure to choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and apply it liberally to all exposed skin.
Wear protective clothing
In addition to sunscreen, wearing clothing that covers your skin can help protect you from the sun. Long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses can all help keep your skin safe. If you’ll be in the water, swim shirts are a great way to stay protected.
Avoid tanning beds
While getting a “base tan” might seem like a good idea, it’s actually just damaging your skin. Tanning beds emit ultraviolet (UV) rays that can cause skin cancer. So skip the tanning salon and get your Vitamin D from a supplement instead.
Avoid the sun during peak hours – between 10am and 4pm
If you must be in the sun, make sure to cover up with clothing, including a hat, and wear sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and make sure it is water resistant. Sport Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 by Goddess Garden Organics is a great option, as it is free of harmful chemicals and provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
Reapply sunscreen every two hours
Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if you are sweating or swimming. Make sure to choose a water-resistant sunscreen if you will be sweating or swimming. Sport Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 by Goddess Garden Organics is a great choice for both activities, as it is water resistant and free of harmful chemicals.
Check your skin regularly for changes
If you notice any changes in your skin, such as new growths, changes in existing moles, or sores that won’t heal, see a doctor right away. These could be signs of skin cancer and should be evaluated by a medical professional. If you have any concerns about your skin, don’t hesitate to see a doctor. They can evaluate any changes and determine if they are cause for concern.
By following these guidelines, you can help reduce your risk of skin cancer. And remember, if you are ever in doubt about a suspicious growth on your skin, always err on the side of caution and see a doctor. They will be able to evaluate the growth and determine if it is cause for concern.