Six Preventative Steps For Avoiding Skin Cancer

Studies show skin cancer carries a genetic component.  This means if a close family member has skin, your chances of having it increase.  However, there are things you can do to decrease the odds.  Here’s a list of six different ways you can work to keep your skin healthy and free of cancerous conditions.

Check Your Skin

The easiest step to take doesn’t involve any products or lifestyle changes.  Simply examine your skin at least once a month for signs of skin cancer such as a large brown spot with speckles, reddish or brownish patches of skin that feel rough or scaly in areas often exposed to the sun (face, ears, neck, lips, back of hands).

Six Preventative Steps For Avoiding Skin Cancer
Melanoma to the human eye
dermoscopy mole check
Dermoscopy image of melanoma

Dermatologists use tools to see further into skin cells to better identify what a growth is.

See A Dermatologist

Even if you don’t find any unusual spots, it doesn’t hurt to get looked at by a professional.  As the premier dermatologists for skin cancer in Montgomery County, PA we can give total body skin examinations to find early signs. Some signs of skin cancer can be mistaken for a boil, pimple, bug bite, or cyst.  Not only do we offer comprehensive examinations but we can help treat you if we find signs of pre-cancer or cancer. 

Minimize Sun Exposure

Using a strong sunscreen isn’t enough.  Not all sunscreen is waterproof so it may wash off in a pool or be removed by sweat.  When looking for sunscreen make sure that it’s waterproof as well as broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB).  No single form of sun protection is enough on its own, but some people feel a false sense of security when using a high SPF sunscreen.  The barrier it creates is not impenetrable, though.  Reapply as needed.

Dress For The Occasion

UV sunglasses will protect your eyes from sun damage.  Keep your skin as fully covered as possible using light, breathable clothing that’s comfortable in the summer heat.  

Keep Cool

Stay in the shade when the sun is at its peak, at noon specifically.  However anywhere between 10 AM and 4 PM you should still be careful about how much time you spend in the sun.

Avoid Tanning

Contrary to popular belief, tanning beds are not safer than direct exposure to sunlight.  Not only should you avoid sun tanning, but you should also avoid UV tanning beds.  Don’t deliberately expose yourself to UV rays.

Here to Help

If you think you may have early signs of skin cancer or just want a second opinion, contact our office today to set up an appointment.  Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists offers excellent melanoma treatment in Philadelphia, as well as other types of skin cancer.  Our specialists are trained to quickly identify any signs and work with you and your doctor to create a treatment plan.  Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

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