Ten tips for skin cancer prevention
The skin is a large and complex organ. There is a virtually endless list of potential skin problems and diseases, which can have implications medically, cosmetically, or both. Although many people pay a great deal of attention to problems such as acne or wrinkles, the most serious skin disease of all is too frequently ignored.
Especially in youth, when one has a bit of a feeling of invincibility, it can be easy to think of skin cancer as something that happens to other people. It can be easy to convince yourself that one more suntan won’t make that much difference. It can be easy to skip the sunscreen without a second thought when you are simply running a few errands. It can be easy… until you are diagnosed with skin cancer. The truth is that it can happen to you. It can happen to anyone.
Although no one is immune to skin cancer, some people are much more likely to develop it. Some of the risk factors, such as genetics and skin tone, cannot be altered. However, you have the power to control the number one risk factor for skin cancer, and that is UV radiation exposure.
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- Wear broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 or more when going outdoors, even on cloudy or rainy days.
- Apply sunscreen liberally in a thick layer
- Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure
- Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, more frequently if you are sweating or participating in water activities
- Never sunbathe or use indoor tanning lamps
- If you want a golden glow, consider spray tanning
- Avoid gel manicures, which are set with UV lamps
- If you do get a gel manicure, apply a sunblock to your fingers or wear gloves with the fingers cut out
- Avoid outdoor activities during peak UV radiation hours, which is approximately 10:00am to 4:00pm
- Wear a UV blocking sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves, long pants, and other protective clothing
Don’t forget to see your dermatologist for an annual cancer screening, because early detection facilitates conservative, effective treatment. Call (973) 509-6900 and schedule your appointment at image Dermatology®. Our practice is conveniently located in Montclair, serving communities throughout the area including Glen Ridge and Essex Fells.