Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lives, according to skincancer.org. The following ways may help you diminish the chance of getting skin cancer.
1. Avoid Peak Hours in the Sun
The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., according to sun safety alliance. If possible, don’t spend a lot of time outdoors during these hours.
2. Seek Shade
If you can’t avoid the sun during peak hours, find a spot in the shade. However, UV rays can still indirectly reach your skin. UV rays may bounce off sand or concrete even though you are covered by an umbrella or tree. Shade is most effective when you can’t see the sky.
3. Cover Up with Clothing and a Wide-Brimmed Hat
Clothing is the first barrier between UV rays and your skin. Any clothing will help protect you from the sun, but some clothing better than others. The University of Utah Cancer Center, our affiliate, posted What Clothing Is Best for Protecting the Skin? Click on the link to learn more.
Hats are a stylish way to keep the sun off your head, face, and shoulders. Choose a hat with a brim at least three inches wide to cover the back of your neck, nose, and ears.
Patients who are receiving cancer treatment may become extra sensitive to the sun. Surgical scars and areas of skin, treated by radiation, can burn easily. If you’ve lost your hair, your head is also vulnerable. It is important to keep these areas protected from the sun.
4. Wear Sunglasses
Your eyes are also sensitive to the sun’s rays. Look for sunglasses labeled as having 99–100% UV light protection. Wrap-around styles keep light from shining around the frames and into your eyes.
5. Don’t Use Tanning Beds
Tanning beds expose you to harmful UV light. Often this type of UV light is stronger and can cause more damage in less time than UV rays from the sun. Learn to love your natural skin color.
Remember, a tan is your skin’s reaction to UV damage. There’s no such thing as a safe, healthy tan, according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
The annual cost of treating skin cancers in the U.S. is estimated at $8.1 billion, according to skincancer.org. Do your part and reduce your chances of skin cancer.