Because skin cancer affects so many people in the United States each year, knowing ways to reduce the risk of developing the disease is critical. Limiting sun exposure is key, as research shows that ninety percent of skin cancers are sun related. There are plenty of helpful skin cancer prevention tips that can be easily incorporated into your daily life. Listed below are a few ways to prevent skin cancer without having to completely avoid being in the sun.
- Avoid tanning beds – There is no such thing as a safe tan, regardless of whether it is acquired naturally of with the help of a tanning bed. Although some tanning salons advertise that newer bulbs are safe and that you need sun exposure to get the necessary amount of vitamin D, those statements are false. In some cases, the new high-pressure sunlamps can actually deliver UVR doses that are twelve times the amount of the sun. Those that use tanning beds are 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
- Do not allow your skin to burn – All it takes is a single sunburn to increase the likelihood of getting skin cancer down the road. If you notice your skin getting red, take cover by going inside, seeking shade, or wearing a shirt, hat, and sunglasses to protect the skin.
- Use sunscreen – It is important to wear sunscreen daily that is at least SPF 15 or higher. A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 is able to filter approximately 93 percent of UVB rays. With SPF 30, that number increases to 97 percent. SPF 50 can filter 98 percent of UVB rays.
- Stay in the shade between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – If possible, try to avoid sun exposure during this time, where the sun’s rays are generally the strongest. If you are outside, try to stay under a shaded area like a tree or pavilion. You can also bring a sun umbrella to provide shade.