10 Easy Tips for Skin Cancer Prevention
Skin cancer is a serious health concern that affects people of all ages and skin types, especially in Atlanta, where our southern sun poses a serious health threat. However, no matter where you live, prevention should be a key part of your daily routine, starting with these 10 easy tips to help prevent skin cancer and keep your skin healthy.
1. Seek the Shade
The sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Limit your time outdoors during these hours and seek shade whenever possible.
2. Wear Protective Clothing
We know that avoiding the outdoors during the sun’s peak hours is not always feasible. So, when you’re out in the sun for extended periods, wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, and broad-brimmed hats.
3. Apply Sunscreen
And for your skin that is not covered by clothing, apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. Most adults should use about one ounce of sunscreen – or enough to fill a shot glass – to cover their bodies. Reapply every two hours if you’re swimming or sweating.
4. Avoid Tanning Beds
We know that sunbeds are popular in Atlanta, but the truth is that tanning beds can be just as dangerous (or more) than the sun’s UV rays. Tanning beds operate with UV lights, damaging your skin and increasing your risk of skin cancer. Avoid them at all costs. Opt for self-tanner instead.
5. Check Your Skin Regularly
Regular check-ups with a dermatologist are important to ensure any potential issues are caught early. But you should also be vigilant about checking your skin at home regularly, looking for new moles or changes in existing ones. If you notice any changes, contact us as soon as possible.
6. Protect Your Eyes
UV rays can cause damage to the eyes as well as the skin, so make sure to wear sunglasses whenever you’re out in direct sunlight. Look for lenses that offer 99% UV protection and block both UVA and UVB rays to protect your eyes from sun damage.
7. Stay Hydrated
Hydrating regularly is not only good for your skin but also supports your overall health. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day and add electrolytes, if necessary, when exercising or spending time outdoors in the heat.
8. Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet rich in antioxidants can help protect your skin from sun damage. Foods such as dark leafy greens, berries, and fish are great choices.
9. Don’t Forget Your Lips
Your lips are just as susceptible to sun damage, so use lip balm with SPF 30 when you’re out in the sun.
10. Get Regular Skin Check-Ups
Regular skin check-ups are essential. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, with more than five million new cases diagnosed each year in the United States alone. When detected early, skin cancer can be successfully treated and cured. However, without regular skin check-ups, skin cancer can go undetected and can spread to other parts of the body, putting your health at risk. We recommend that you see a dermatologist for a professional skin check-up annually – or more often if you have a history of skin cancer or other skin conditions.
By following these simple tips, you can reduce your risk of skin cancer and keep your skin healthy. Remember to make skin cancer prevention a part of your daily routine, no matter the season or weather. If you have any concerns about skin cancer, please contact us for an appointment. We are here to help.