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4 Steps You Can Take To Help Protect Your Skin From Skin Cancer

by Stella Robinson

A cancer diagnosis can be detrimental and change your life in many ways. While there is no surefire way to prevent many types of cancer, you have a lot more control in taking action to help prevent skin cancer. Use the following tips to learn more about how you can be proactive in protecting your skin:

Wear Sunscreen Year Round

While many people apply sunscreen when at the beach or pool, it is essential to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen year round. The temperature outdoors doesn't matter-- the radiation and UV rays from the sun can damage your skin any time of year. Don't skip sunscreen on days that are cloudy-- damaging rays may penetrate through clouds and put your skin at risk. It is a great idea to make applying sunscreen a regular part of your morning routine every day of the year.

If you will be outdoors for an extended amount of time, you should be diligent about re-applying sunscreen every few hours. When you're swimming or perspiring you may need to re-apply sunscreen more often to keep your skin protected.

Avoid Tanning

Tanning, whether outdoors or at a tanning salon, is not a good idea. Exposing your skin directly to the sun or the UV rays of a tanning bed is a dangerous habit that can increase your risk of skin cancer. While many people like the way they look when their skin is tan, you are much better off getting a spray tan or using a self-tanning lotion to give your skin a sun-kissed appearance.

Stay Out of the Sun During the Middle of the Day

When the sun is directly overhead, the damaging UV rays and radiation are usually strongest, so make it a habit to avoid spending extended amount of time in the sun during these hours. When you're outdoors during the middle of the day, try to spend time in heavily shaded areas to help prevent exposure to the sun's rays.

Pay Attention to Your Medications

There are a number of medications, including some antibiotics, that can make your skin a lot more sensitive to the sun. When you're prescribed a new medication, make sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if the medication is known to cause light sensitivity. If you're taking a medication with this type of side effect, it is best to avoid being in the sun altogether to prevent damage from occurring.

Speak with a local dermatologist for additional info.