Although skin cancer may be the most prevalent form of cancer in the United State, it is also the most preventable, meaning that there are certain steps that you can take when it comes to your skin care to keep skin cancer at bay. In honor of skin cancer awareness month, OROGOLD shares with you some of our best advice on ways to take care of your skin to prevent skin cancer from forming.
One sunburn is all it takes
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and a sunburn increases your chance of it forming, with five sunburns in your lifetime doubling your chances of getting melanoma. To avoid any future sunburns, use a broad spectrum sunscreen, applying at least 2 tablespoons of this to your entire body thirty minutes before stepping outside. Reapply this every 2 hours, and make sure to keep any babies or children well protected.
Love the shade
The sun is at its strongest between 10am and 4pm, so it is important to stay in the shade during these hours. Certain sunglasses can block 99-100% of UV rays, protecting your eyes and also stopping you from squinting as much, preventing wrinkles and fine lines. A broad rimmed hat will also work well to protect your face, and lipstick can go a long way to keep your lips safe from the sun.
It may not always look like cancer
It is important to regularly examine your skin from head to toe, at least once a month. Although most people associate skin cancer with any new or unusual moles that may have formed, this isn’t always the case. There are 3 main types of skin cancer, and these all manifest in different ways. The first is Basal Cell Carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer that affects areas that have been exposed to the sun the most. If it is caught early, it looks like a red bump or blemish rather than a mole. The second form of skin cancer is Squamous Cell Carcinoma, and is common in older people. It looks like a scaly, crusty growth, and can be treated if caught early. Finally, there is Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, which looks like a mole that is irregular either in size, color or elevation.
Commonly diagnosed parts of the body
Basal Cell Carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, is usually found on the nose, forehead, ears and lower lip, as these are the areas that people apply the least amount of sunscreen to. When it comes to melanoma, women tend to get this more on their legs, while men get it more on their backs. These are the areas that are usually covered up in cold weather but then exposed to the sun during the warmer months, so OROGOLD recommends paying special attention to these areas.
Even if you do as much as you possibly can to protect your skin from sun damage, it is still extremely important to attend an annual skin exam with a physician. If you ever do find any moles or bumps on your skin that seem slightly suspicious, OROGOLD recommends immediately having them checked out by a professional, as the earlier that a cancer is caught, the more likely it is to be able to be successfully treated.