Skin Cancer Prevention
What Can I Do to Prevent Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer prevention is a relatively simple process for most people. In order to avoid the development of skin cancer, the individual should take some preventive care steps and avoid harmful UV light. Goodman Dermatology treats all human skin diseases and conditions, and offers medical, surgical, and cosmetic therapies to patients.
Many patients want the “healthy” look of a tan. This desire for “sun-kissed” skin can prompt them to bake in the sun or make use of tanning salons. Any tan causes damage to the skin so it’s important to limit exposure to harmful ultraviolet light from the sun or artificial tanning beds. Premature aging of the skin, skin cancers, and immune system issues can result from the desire to look healthy.
What Are Some Proven Ways I Can Reduce My Risk of Developing Skin Cancer?
According to Johns Hopkins Cancer Center, sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is important to wear every day, all the time. Look for “Broad Spectrum” and “Water-Resistant” formulas, and make sure to reapply at least every two hours and immediately after a swim or workout. Always use generous amounts of sunscreen. About an ounce of sunscreen is needed to cover the skin of an average adult.
It’s important to wear sunscreen even indoors or behind the wheel of a car because most glass blocks just UVB rays. UVA spectrum light is also known to cause skin cancer. And UVA rays are associated with thinning of the skin. Don’t rely upon cosmetics, tinted sunscreens and the like. These products, according to researchers at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, often have lower SPFs than claimed on the product label. Choose a high quality sunscreen (with an SPF of 30 or more) that’s recommended by the dermatologist. Goodman Dermatology offers recommendations to patients in search of a high quality, reliable sunscreen for daily use.
What Other Self-Care Steps Can I Take?
Each patient should also inspect his or her skin as part of the skin cancer prevention and general skin care regime. It’s important to have the dermatologist perform full-body scans during an office visit, but early skin changes that may result in skin cancers can quickly appear. Look for new lesions, check existing moles, and check for the ABCDs of abnormal moles. Ask a friend or family member to help check the back, trunk, legs, or other parts of the body for changes. Bring any concerns to Goodman Dermatology immediately, because early identification of pre-cancerous lesions or skin cancers is the first step to protecting yourself against any of these serious skin conditions.
What Should I Do If My Job Relies On Time Outdoors?
If at all possible, don’t stand or sit in full sun. Find a shady spot when possible. Of course, sometimes that’s impossible. It’s important to protect the skin with sun-protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, long slacks or pants, and hats that shield the face, such as a broad-brimmed design. There are specialty sources of protective clothing. The best are light and wick moisture away from the skin. Ask Dr. Marcus B. Goodman about sun-protective clothing sources during an office visit.
Is Nutrition Important to Skin Cancer Prevention?
Yes. According to “Nutrition and Skin,” (2011) researchers around the world say that brightly colored vegetables and fruits, such as those with beta-carotene, protect both skin and mucous membranes from serious skin conditions like cancers. Skin cancer researchers know that eating a diet healthy in fresh fruits and vegetables and limited amounts of fatty animal products or meats are best for the body. This diet is also ideal for weight management, so eating right, drinking enough pure water, and getting enough regular exercise is important to the patient’s healthy lifestyle.
Is There an Association Between Some Skin Conditions and the Development of Skin Cancer?
Researchers say this is true. In general, an area of skin that’s damaged by burns, chemicals, or environmental exposure is more likely to develop skin cancer. Some viruses, such as herpes, also seem to predispose some patients to developing skin cancer in several ways. Over time, the herpes virus tends to erupt in the same areas of the skin. In addition, the virus also tends to weaken the patient’s immune system over time. Other viruses, such as some human papilloma virus (HPV) are potential causes of skin cancer. For these reasons, patients should seek treatment for these conditions as another way to protect themselves from skin cancer.
Don’t let anyone tell you that skin cancers are no big deal, because skin cancer is serious. If you’re concerned about skin cancer, please contact Dr. Marcus B. Goodman at (770) 754-0787. He serves patients in Roswell, Dawsonville, Dunwoody, Cumming, Alpharetta, Woodstock, Canton, Cobb County and throughout greater metro Atlanta.