Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and it is also once of the easiest forms to prevent. Skin cancer is caused primarily by unfiltered exposure to the sun.
Here are a few tips to help you prevent skin cancer:
- Use a liberal amount of strong sunscreen on all areas of exposed skin. Ultraviolet light (UVA and UVB) is what typically causes skin cancer and a high quality sunscreen will filter out these UV rays.
On cloudy days use SPF 15 or higher (yes, UV rays are present even on cloudy days). Use at least SPF 30 on sunny days.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck from the sun since most skin cancers occur on the top of the head, the nose, the ears, or the neck.
- Limit your outdoor activities when the intensity of the sun is strongest (typically 10am - 3pm). Try to schedule those activities for early in the morning or late in the afternoon or evening.
- Understand that there is no such thing as a "safe" tan. Tanning causes long-term affects on the skin. Besides, while a tan might make you look great at 20, you'll probably look much older than your age at 40! And remember, preventing a tan will also help you prevent skin cancer.
If you're determined to get a tan anyway, use plenty of sunscreen and limit your tanning activities to early morning or late afternoon.
- Avoid getting sunburned! Even getting sunburned just once as a child can cause skin cancer later in life!
You can help prevent skin cancer by using sunscreen, wearing a hat, and avoiding sunburn. Being safe now can help you be healthy later!
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