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Avoiding Skin Cancer – Everyday Things That You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

checking melanoma on a back of a man with magnifying glass

We all understand how important it is to keep our skin healthy, especially as we grow older. We want to maintain a fresh, youthful look as long as we can. One of the best ways to do this is to avoid the possibility of skin cancer. Here’s a look at some of the best ways you can avoid or lower your chances of developing skin cancer.

Take Sun Safety Seriously

It’s true that most of us enjoy spending time in the sun. It can be relaxing and lift our spirits as well. However, sun damage can not only lead to skin cancer, it can cause sun damage such as leathery skin, sun spots, and wrinkles — all of which are caused by UV rays.

Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. — Avoid the Sun

The sun’s rays are usually the strongest during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. So if you are outside during these times, seek shade.

Don’t Burn

Just one sunburn can increase your risk of developing melanoma and each additional sunburn increases your risk. If you start feeling or seeing redness, get out of the sun.

Cover Up

Clothing is a very effective form of sun protection. Also, wearing a wide brimmed hat and UV-block sunglasses can help you avoid those harmful UV rays.

Use Sunscreen

We know how important wearing sunscreen can be. Sunscreens with an SPF of 15 can filter out about 93 percent of incoming UVB rays. Higher SPFs can be essential for people who have skin that burns easily or have photosensitive conditions such as lupus.

Keep in mind, however, that a high SPF alone is not sufficient. You need to use sunscreen products that are labeled “broad spectrum” or UVA/UVB protection.

One additional step toward preventing skin cancer is to do a self-exam once a month, especially if you are in a higher risk group. You should look for any warning signs such as changes in moles or sores that continue to itch, crust, scab, or bleed.

Dr. Wright and his team understand how important skin cancer prevention is. If you would like to know more about these tips, or are concerned about possible skin cancer, please give us a call. We would be happy to answer your questions so we can ensure that you continue to have healthy skin!