Skin cancer is a serious matter. According to the American Cancer Society, each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. The good news is that there are many things you can do to protect against skin cancer. Here are some of the best ways to stay safe:
Wear Sunscreen Year-Round
Even when it’s overcast, you should always wear sunscreen when you’re going to be outside. And be sure to reapply every couple of hours or after swimming or exercising. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of at least 30. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the top of your feet, the top of your head, and your neck and ears.
Look For Shade
The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm, so try to schedule outdoor activities for times of the day outside of this timeframe. And stay in the shade much as possible to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
Sunscreen alone can’t provide complete protection from the sun, so wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and a broad-brimmed hat. And don’t forget to wear sunglasses that are designed to block UVA and UVB rays. Wrap-around options are the best at protecting your eyes from the sun.
Think Vitamin D
Instead of looking to the sun for vitamin D, incorporate foods into your diet that are naturally rich in vitamin D such as cheese, egg yolks, mushrooms and fatty fish like tuna and salmon.
Check Your Skin
Use a hand mirror and full-length mirror in a well-lit room to do an overall assessment of your body. If you see anything out of the ordinary like new skin growths or changes in existing moles, freckles, bumps and birthmarks, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.