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Skin Cancer Awareness Month: The Top 4 Ways You Can Protect Yourself

How to Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Do you know how to best protect your skin? Here are a few tips to help you prevent skin cancer.

Wear Sunscreen Every Day

Sunscreen is one of the simplest, yet most effective tools you have in the fight against skin cancer. One of the biggest contributing factors in the development of skin cancer is exposure to UV rays from the sun. The more you can protect your skin from these, the better. Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and re-apply every two hours if you’re spending the whole day outside. In addition, make sunscreen a daily part of your beauty routine. Many foundations actually have SPF 10 or more, which means sun protection and beauty go hand-in-hand.

Avoid Tanning Beds

A summer glow is an appealing concept, but it should never come at the cost of your skin health. Tanning beds have been linked to the development of skin cancer, which means if you want to protect yourself you should avoid them at all costs. In fact, avoid tanning of any kind that involves exposure to UV rays. Not only can tanning lead to premature aging and leathery skin texture, it can damage your skin cells and make you more susceptible to skin cancer in the future. If you really want a beautiful summer glow, consider working with your dermatologist to find a self-tanning cream or tinted lotion that can help you with that.

Wear Protective Clothing

If you’re going to go out and enjoy the beautiful weather, that’s great! Just make sure you’re wearing clothing that protects your skin from UV rays. One of the best items to keep on at all times is a wide-brimmed hat. The bigger, the better! Shading your skin from the sun can help you avoid sunburn and help reduce your chances of developing skin cancer. If you can, make the investment in clothing with a UPF label, which signifies that it’s not only fashionable, but functional, as well. Protecting your skin from sun damage can really be that simple!

Invest in Regular Skin Cancer Screenings

If you’re in a high-risk group for developing skin cancer or you have a family history of skin cancer, it’s important that you invest in regular skin cancer screenings. These appointments can help detect early signs of skin cancer that you may not be able to spot during a self-exam. You may be in a high risk group if you have a history of excessive sun exposure, fair skin or light-colored hair, or a history of irregular moles. Regular skin cancer screenings should happen at least once annually. If you’ve previously had skin cancer, you may want to invest in skin cancer screenings more often.

Protecting your skin from cancer isn’t as difficult as it might seem. But if you believe you’re at risk for developing skin cancer and you want to schedule a skin cancer screening, contact our team at North Pacific Dermatology to set up an appointment today.

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