How to Prevent Skin Cancer

Skin cancer risk has gradually increased as more ultraviolet radiation finds its way into the atmosphere. Most cases of skin cancer are considered to be sun related. Skin cancer is generally divided into several types which commonly affect a greater number of people.

Types of skin cancer

Basal cell carcinoma is known as the most common type of skin cancer. It affects individuals with a family history of the disease, excessive exposure to UV light as well as being exposed to some carcinogenic chemicals such as arsenic. This type of skin cancer is rarely life threatening but can lead to serious disfigurement of the areas it affects if left untreated.

There is also the squamous cell carcinoma. Like basal cell carcinoma, it is considered as a non-melanoma form of skin cancer. Non-melanoma skin cancers are unlikely to metastasize or spread to other parts of the body.

The most dangerous type of skin cancer is malignant melanoma, a rarer form of cancer but accounts for a majority of skin cancer deaths. This type of cancer may be caused either by a family history of the disease and excessive exposure to UV light, or both.

How to prevent skin cancer?

Treatment for skin cancer, especially malignant melanoma, will depend on how early it is diagnosed. But prevention, aside from treatment may be the best way to combat skin cancers. As most skin cancers that develop are sun-related, keeping the skin protected from the harmful rays of the sun may be the most effective way of preventing skin cancers.

Reducing exposure to the sun’s rays, especially when it is at its strongest, may be able to help a lot in preventing skin cancer. The sun usually shines at its strongest between 11 am and 4 pm.

This is the time when the UV rays of the sun are also at its strongest. Be aware of these times even on cloudy days. About 80 percent of UV light may be able to penetrate some types of clouds, fog or even mist. It is not impossible for one to get sunburn even on a cloudy day.

When you do have to go out, try to provide adequate protection for your skin. You can shade your skin from the harmful rays of the sun by seeking shade under trees or bringing your own umbrella when you go out.

You can also wear clothing that offer cover for your exposed arms or legs. Make sure that you wear clothing that has tight weaving in order to prevent UV light from penetrating through them.

Another way to protect the skin from the sun’s rays is by using sun screens when going out. Make sure that you use sunscreens with an SPF level of 15 or more and contain both UV-A and UV-B protection.

Remember to apply the sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before you venture out into the open and try to reapply every couple of hours if you are working or playing.