If you ask any dermatologist, you will learn that prevention is critical when it comes to avoiding skin cancer. Use the following tips to help reduce your chances of suffering from this potentially life-threatening condition:
Protect Your Skin
Shielding your skin from excessive sunlight is one of the best ways to reduce your chances of developing skin cancer. Stay in the shade as much as possible, particularly between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM which is when the sun is strongest. Never let your skin burn. Every day, be sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides both UVA and UVB protection along with an SPF of at least 15. Apply 1 ounce of sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors, and reapply it every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.
Cover Your Skin
In addition to regularly using sunscreen and avoiding sunburns, wearing the right clothing can help protect your skin from cancer. Cover as much of your skin with clothing as you can by wearing long sleeves and pants. Also, wear sunglasses to protect the skin around your eyes and a large-brimmed hat to shield your scalp and face from the sun.
See Your Dermatologist
One of the most significant things that you can do to help keep your skin cancer-free is to see a dermatologist at least once per year. In addition to performing a head-to-toe self-exam once per month, annual skin cancer screenings are an essential step in preventing skin cancer. Your dermatologist can spot signs of pre-cancerous skin conditions, and melanoma is nearly 100% curable if it is caught early. Also, if you have a sore that has not healed for a month or more, a lesion that looks different than your other moles, or a lesion that has changed in appearance, then see your dermatologist as soon as possible.
Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology offers high-quality skin care products and treatments to help promote the health of your skin. To learn about our services or schedule a skin cancer screening with one of our Salt Lake City dermatologists, please call (801) 266-8841.