image credit: shutterstock
An old saying goes: Prevention is better than cure. The same is true for skin cancer. One can effectively lessen the chances of developing this horrible disease by taking a few preventive measures. There are tips for protecting yourself against skin cancer that can be very easily incorporated into our daily schedules and put into practice as a routine. Skin cancer is very common in America affecting tens of thousands of people each year.
Skin cancer is caused due to the exposure of the cell to an external environment which results in the mutation of its genes. The resultant oncogene facilitates the growth of the tumor. In most if the cases, the environmental conditions that causes the cancer cannot be ascertained. In fact, rather than a single external factor there could be a multitude of factors promoting cancer
There is an ingredient found inside the human body which is known as Melanin. It is considered to be the human body’s built-in defense against the harmful effects of sunlight. The melanin turns brown upon exposure to the sun. This saves the skin from burning.
There are many symptoms of skin cancer. The most common form of skin cancer, Basal cell carcinoma, is manifest in a red or brown mark on the skin. The mark could be flat on the skin or slightly raised from it. It is considered a harmless cancer since it does not spread. The mark can appear anywhere on the surface of a human body, however, it is most likely to surface on those parts that are exposed to the sun in a direct manner.
The Causes of Skin Cancer
One of the main reasons of developing this disease is exposure to the sun’s Ultra violet rays for extended periods of time. Infact, being exposed to Ultra violet rays is considered as the principal cause of this disease in America. However, there are other factors that also play their part. One of them is genetics. As I wrote earlier in the article, it is much better to take preventive measures to protect oneself from this disease in order to spend a healthy life. Some useful tips for protecting yourself against skin cancer are given below:
1. Keep Away From Direct Sunlight
Try to avoid direct exposure of sunlight to your skin during 10 to 4 during the day since the ultra violet rays are strongest at this time of the day. Schedule all your outdoor movements in such a way that you can avoid the sun during these hours. An important point to be noted here is that ice and sand have the ability to reflect sunlight. It means that visiting a ski resort or the beach may expose you to excessive Ultra Violet rays. This does not mean that you should avoid going to these places altogether. However, when you do go, make sure that you have taken all the preventive measures and try to reduce your exposure to the sun as much as you can.
2. Keep Your Skin covered
If you absolutely need to go out in the sun, make sure that you have covered your skin properly. This can be done by wearing long pants and sleeves. In order t cover your face, you may wear a hat with a reasonable brim around the top. The hat will not only protect your cheeks but your neck as well from the dangerous Ultra Violet rays. Also keep in mind that dark clothes offer the maximum defense against the sun’s harmful rays.
[more: 6 Ways To Treat Sunburn Quickly]
3. Employ Sunscreen
Whenever you need to go out in the sun for extended periods of time, always remember to wear sunscreen containing sun protection factor of not less than fifteen. Make sure that you have read the direction for using the product so that you are able to obtain the maximum benefits from it. However, a point must be noted here: wearing sunscreen does not mean that you have become immune from the Ultra Violet rays. You still need to be careful about your exposure to the sun.
4. Wear sunglasses
Before you buy a pair of cool sun glasses, make sure that they offer protection against the Ultra Violet rays and can keep your eyes safe from the damage caused by sunlight. There are sunglasses available in the market that can offer 99 to 100 percent protection from the Ultra Violet rays. There is a misconception regarding sunglasses: that the darker the lens of the sunglasses, the more protection it will offer from the sunlight. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Ultra Violet rays of the sun are barred from penetrating the lens with the help of a chemical applied to it. This chemical can even be applied on transparent glasses. Rather than assuming about the protection afforded by a particular sunglass, simply ask the vendor who will be able to provide valuable guidance.
5. Avoid Tanning beds
There is another widespread misconception and it involves tanning beds. Most people think that tanning beds can protect you against the harmful effects of the Ultra Violet rays. It should be noted that though these products may seem useful in the short run, in the long run, they cannot provide any real protection. That is why professional health care practitioners advise their clients not to use them.
If you take practical steps to incorporate the above tips for protecting yourself against skin cancer into your daily schedule, there is every chance that you will be able to significantly decrease your chances of developing this dreadful disease. Moreover, a healthy life style, balanced diet and only appropriate exposure to sun at suitable times is also necessary for beating back any kind of ailment.
A routine checkup with health care professionals is also a good idea. In case skin cancer is detected in an earlier stage, there is much more chance of getting rid of it. A health care professional will also let you know the practical ways of protecting yourself against skin cancer. Consequently, your chances of safeguarding yourself against skin cancer will be markedly enhanced.