13 Mar 5 tips to prevent skin cancer
Times are changing and the weather is becoming increasingly more extreme, the sun’s rays are entering the atmosphere with more force and now more than ever, our skin is our most important protective shield. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer? Now you know, you need to learn how to protect yourself, so we have put together 5 tips to prevent skin cancer:
Limit your time in the sun
Avoid direct sun exposure for more than two consecutive hours, especially between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Check the intensity of ultraviolet rays here so that you can take necessary precautions
If you are carrying out an activity that requires you to be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time, take necessary measures to protect yourself: wear adequate clothing, such as a hat, sunglasses and, if necessary, gloves, as well as sunscreen in the areas most exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck and arms.
Say no to tanning beds
The use of tanning beds is a much debated topic within the medical community. Constant exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from these beds increases the risk of suffering ocular lesions, cutaneous damage and skin cancer.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, those who have been exposed to radiation from tanning beds have a 59% higher risk of contracting melanoma (the most aggressive form of skin cancer), compared to those that have never used one.
Get regular check-ups
Whilst skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, it can also be treated with early detection. If you see a spot or mole appear on your skin with a suspicious color or texture that itches or rapidly increases in size, consult a specialist so that they can examine you.
These regular checkups are particularly crucial if your family has a history of skin cancer or if you have already had lesions classed as having a moderate degree of risk.
Learn how to self-examine to find out if any of your freckles or moles look suspicious so that you can talk to your doctor about it.
|How to do it?||What to look for?|
|Asymmetry – one half of the mole looks different to the other.|
|Borders – unequal, irregular, blurred or jagged.|
|Color– reddish, whiteish or blueish on top of black lesions.|
|Diameter– more than 6 millimeters across or increases in size at every checkup.|
Use adequate protection
You shouldn’t just wear sunscreen on vacation, it should be part of your daily routine. Sunscreen or sunblock filter or reflect ultraviolet radiation A and B rays, preventing the skin from getting damaged.
These products have a sun protection factor (SPF) indicating their level of protection, with SPF 50+ being the highest. Currently, it is recommended to use an SPF of 15 and above for the body and 30 and above for the face. It should be applied half an hour before sun exposure in a sufficient quantity to leave a visible layer on the skin and then reapplied every two hours.
To give you an idea of what SPF means, if someone gets a light burn after spending 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen, it will take approximately 30 times longer if they are wearing SPF 30 (approximately 5 hours).
Whenever you buy sunscreen for you and your family, be sure to:
- Check the label to see whether the product protects against a specific type of UV ray or, even better, if it filters both UVB and UVA rays.
- Make sure it is water resistant, that way it remains on the skin even after being in the water for 40 minutes and doesn’t come off with sweat.
- Ensure it does not contain para-aminobenzoic acid, which can cause sensitivity and allergic reactions on the skin.
Enjoy outdoor activities with suitable sun protection, remember that prevention is the best way to stay healthy.