Skin cancer is the most common form of the disease in the United States, most often triggered by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, but sometimes occurring on body parts that aren’t usually open to the sun. It’s not always clear why skin cancer starts, but there are things you can do to reduce your overall risk of developing the disease.
MD Vein & Skin Specialists provide mole mapping and skin cancer screening services to help you detect early signs of cancer when it’s in its most treatable stages. Dr. Clement Banda is a dermatologist and a phlebology specialist with over a quarter century of medical experience.
We’ve compiled a list of our top tips to help you reduce your skin cancer risk. Your efforts, combined with regular screening, can greatly reduce the potential impact of skin cancer on your life.
Protecting yourself against UV rays is the best approach to avoid developing skin cancer. Since UV light is invisible to your eyes, it’s hard to know when you’re at risk and receiving UV exposure. Combining strategies to combat UV light is an excellent choice to prevent the mutations these forms of radiation can cause.
The UV content of sunlight varies from day to day and also throughout a single day. Peak UV exposure usually occurs when the sun is highest in the sky, typically between 10am and 2pm. Stay indoors or in the shade whenever possible to reduce your UV exposure, and don’t use UV tanning beds, which can cause the same cellular damage as the sun.
Though you can’t see UV rays, they behave similarly to visible light. UV reflects off surfaces like snow, sand, water, glass, or any bright surface. This can magnify your exposure and risk of sunburn. UV rays can also pass through windows and glass surfaces not designed to block the radiation.
Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB radiation, two UV sources from the sun. Choose a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater whenever you go outside, even if it’s cloudy.
Water-resistant sunscreens are a smart choice — and don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every three hours you’re outdoors.
Your clothes also help to block UV light, and you can purchase clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor or UPF. Wide-brimmed hats and UV-rated sunglasses also protect you.
UV light depletes antioxidants, key components in the fight against free radicals, oxygen molecules that can damage your skin’s DNA, leading to cancerous mutations. Increasing your intake of fresh foods rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin D, beta carotene, lycopene, and omega-3 fatty acids may be the tastiest way to fight cancer.
Add these strategies to regular skin cancer screenings with MD Vein & Skin Specialists to improve your chances of bypassing skin cancer. Our mole mapping uses AI assisted accuracy to reproduce exact images of moles between visits. This system by Fotofinder also improves accuracy of determining precancer and cancer changes in moles, again by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence. Book your visit by phone or online to boost your skin cancer proactivity today.