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How to Avoid Skin Cancer

This is an article providing tips, alerting you to the risks associated with skin cancer as well as informing you of ways to help prevent this deadly disease.

Fun in the sun is a favorite past time of so many Americans, but then again there are more than 1.8 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed a year. Outdoor lifestyles that include doses of sunshine may be superior in boosting our vitamin D intake but reek pure havoc on our skin.

Most people do not realize that UV (ultraviolet) rays are absorbed through the skin not only on bright, sunshiny days, but when the clouds are looming overhead. South- western states seem to get hit the worst with the highest UV rates because of our depleted ozone layer and location of our planet.

Although skin cancer is not a silent foe, many people know someone who has been afflicted with this deadly killer. Often precautions have not been taken to the fullest leaving room for skin damage especially in those under twenty. The risks that are involved with skin cancer are no laughing matter and should be taken seriously, before this ailment takes you or someone you love by surprise. The following tips are shared to help you prevent skin cancer and stay looking younger and enjoying life to the fullest.

  • Exposure to the sun resulting in either a mild or serious sunburn before the age of twenty greatly increases your chance of becoming a skin cancer patient.  Always wear sunscreen.
  • Knowing your family’s history will give you the knowledge you need to adequately prepare for outdoor activities. Family members who have experienced skin cancer means use appropriate sunscreen.
  • Timing is everything and being outdoors between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm is a no-no. The sun’s rays are the most dangerous at this time and calls for extra measures of protection.
  • 15-30 SPF sunscreen is recommended when spending more than 10-15 minutes outdoors. Broad spectrum sunscreen works best against both UVA (long wave) and UVB (short wave) radiation.
  • The eyes are vital to enjoying life to the fullest so be sure to keep them healthy and cancer free by using sunglasses that offer an EPF (eye protection factor). Damage to the eyes can be irreversible and can cause cataracts or blindness.
  • Protective gear should include large-brimmed hats covering the ears as well as the face and neck and clothing with tight knit fabric that acts as a barrier between your skin and the sun. Yes, UV rays penetrate clothing.
  • Be prepared ahead of time and apply sunscreen atleast 20 minutes prior to exposure to the sun and re-apply often when swimming or sweating. Finding the right sun protection is of utmost importance in preventing skin cancer.

Prevention is the key to escaping this deadly disease. While no one is completely immune to skin cancer, limiting the amount of time you spend in the sun, knowing your family’s history of skin cancer, avoiding the most damaging sun times, using adequate sunscreen when outdoors, wearing EPF rated sunglasses, choosing the right clothing to wear outdoors and applying sunscreen prior to sun exposure rather than after the thought are keys ways to help avoid skin cancer.

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  1. The SPF in sunscreens is very important. I just hope more people payed attention too it. Denise, your articles are always so well-researched. Thank you.

  2. very informative…

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