There is so much information available these days on how to prevent skin cancer. However, despite the many warnings, most people these days are still none the wiser as to what they can actually do to decrease their chances of developing the condition. Applying sunscreen is one of the most well known ways to prevent skin cancer, yet still thousands of people ignore the many warnings.
Within this article, you will find out the top 20 ways on how to prevent skin cancer. By following the advice given below, you should have the best chance of preventing this condition.
Tip Number 1 – Applying Sunscreen The Natural Way
While there may be plenty of warnings telling us to wear sunscreen, what you may not be aware of is that there are dangers associated with chemical sunscreens. Surveys have shown that only 15% of 952 sunscreens that were tested met the Environmental Working Groups (EWG) criteria for effectiveness as well as safety.
There are two types of rays that damage our skin and cause potentially serious conditions such as skin cancer. The other type of UV ray that can damage the skin is UVA. Not only can this cause skin cancer, but premature ageing of the skin.
UVB rays cause sunburn and it is vital that a safe sunscreen be used to protect the skin from burning.
As there are so many unsafe sunscreens available, how can you tell which ones are safe to use? Well the main ingredient that you need to look out for is Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide. These are both natural compounds that will help to reflect harmful rays. Try to stay away from sunscreens that contain micronized titanium dioxide or nano zinc oxide. Typically, these are found in spray pump bottles – the particles are so tiny that according to research they can penetrate the skin and possibly cause free radical damage.
Tip Number 2 – Avoid Direct Sun Exposure
This may seem obvious but avoiding direct sun exposure at certain times throughout the day will really help to cut down your risk of preventing the disease. Typically, it is better to stay out of the sun, or at least to cover up well, between 10am and 3pm daily. This is when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
Tip Number 3 – Stay in the Shade
If you do have to go out during peak times then one of the best ways to prevent skin cancer is to stay in the shade as much as possible. The rays are not as strong within the shade, though it would be a good idea to still apply safe sunscreen! Don’t forget – you can still sunbathe whilst you are in the shade!
Tip Number 4 – Keep Young Babies Out of the Shade
When you think about how to prevent skin cancer, you mainly think about yourself and other adults. However, children and young babies in particular are at severe risk of developing sunburn. There has been a strong link made between skin cancer and sunburn in infants, so be extra careful and cover them up as much as possible when you do go out.
Tip Number 5 – Wear a Hat
When it is extremely hot outside the last thing that you may think of is wearing a hat! Most of the heat within the body is lost through the head. However, your scalp is one particular place that is the most vulnerable of getting burnt. Therefore, it is always a good idea to wear a specially designed sun hat. One of the least expected areas of the body to find skin cancer (and the hardest to detect) is the scalp. It is incredibly vulnerable, especially in balding men, so a safe sunscreen on the scalp and a hat is essential.
Tip Number 6 – Wear Good Quality Sunglasses
It is just as vital to protect the eyes as it is with any other part of the body. It is also just as vital to get the right type of sunglasses in order to receive the best protection. There are different types of sunglasses and not all of them will protect you as much as they could. It is particularly important to select good quality sunglasses when you are thinking of participating in water sports and for when you are driving in the sun.
Tip Number 7 – Wear UV Protective Clothing
One thing that many people do not think about when it comes to sun protection is UV protective clothing. There is a great selection on UV protective clothing available to purchase for both adults and children. It would be a good idea to search online if you are having trouble finding UV clothing in your local area.
Tip Number 8 – Know Genetic Factors
One cause of skin cancer is often genetics. Do you have any members of the family who have developed skin cancer? Could melanoma have been passed down to you? If there is a genetic link in your family or you have inherited high risk factor traits, then you need to be extra careful while out in the sun.
Tip Number 9 – Wear Lip Balm
Another often forgotten about sun protection tip is lip balm. The skin on your lips is particularly sensitive and a good sun protection lip balm will eliminate the risk of developing actinic cheilitis.
Tip Number 10 – Improve your Immune System
Your immune system helps your body to protect itself against a number of different diseases and conditions. Therefore, when you are looking into how to prevent skin cancer, improving your immune system should be one of the main things that you focus on.
By boosting your immune system, it will be better able to fight off cancer cells. However, it is important to note that a healthy immune system will not necessarily prevent cancer, it will help your wellbeing generally. A healthy diet is the best way to boost your immune system along with plenty of exercise.
Tip Number 11 – Avoid Tanning Salons
Tanning salons have been proven to be linked to skin cancer and long-term use of them is extremely dangerous. In fact, some international cancer experts have stated that sun-tanning beds can be as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas.
It was speculated for a long time that tanning beds may be a cause of skin cancer, but now it has been scientifically proven that they are a leading cause of skin cancer. After around 20 different studies, it showed that the risk of developing skin cancer after using a tanning bed rose by 75%. Now with the availability of lotions and sprays available there are much safer options there to get a gorgeous glow.
Tip Number 12 – Mole Map your Body
It is essential that you know every single mole and mark on your body. The most serious skin cancer is malignant melanoma. This cancer commonly develops in a mole and it is essential that you check your moles regularly to ensure that there are no changes to existing moles and no new ones developing. Absolutely any change in your moles should be taken seriously, especially the color and the pattern.
It would be a good idea to keep a record of your moles. Write down where you have them and even take photographs of them so that you can recognise any change in them if needed.
Tip Number 13 – Avoid Cosmetics that Include Tar
One potential cause of skin cancer is the regular use of cosmetics that contain coal tar. Coal tar is a by-procuct of coke production from coal. The tar used in cosmetic and beauty products is absorbed into the body and that is how it may cause cancer. Some psoriasis treatments and shampoos contain coal tar so always read the label before you buy a product for this condition.
Tip Number 14 – Avoid Arsenic from Pesticides
While the link has not been proven, there does seem to be a large portion of occupational skin cancer occurring in farmers. This is due to domestic pesticides that contain small amounts of arsenic. Over a long period of time and exposure to the pesticides, skin cancer may develop.
The type of cancer that it is linked to is cutaneous melanoma. There are some experts who claim that sun exposure is still the largest contributory factor in skin cancer and pesticides are not a large problem. Of course, sun exposure is still the number one cause of skin cancer, but the link between pesticides that contain arsenic and farmers developing cancer should still not be ignored.
Tip Number 15 – Scar Tissue and Slow Healing Ulcers
If you have slow healing ulcers or scar tissue – particularly if you are elderly when you may experience leg ulcers, then you are at risk of developing squamous cell cancer within that area. There are many causes of squamous cell carcinoma, with UV radiation from sunlight being one of the main culprits. However, when skin is damaged and takes longer than usual to heal, cell changes may occasionally lead to skin cancer.
Tip Number 16 – Radiotherapy
Ironically, when you are having radiotherapy treatment for cancer, it can actually increase the risk of skin cancer. Wherever the radiotherapy is being targeted, the site can develop skin cancer in very rare cases.
Tip Number 17 – Green Houses & Long Distance Driving
You may not consider green houses to be an issue when it comes to developing skin cancer, but if you aren’t careful, they could really increase your chances of developing the condition. So can long distance driving due to the UV radiation that passes through the glass.
The sun’s rays are so powerful that they do pass through glass. Therefore, you need to treat being inside a car or a greenhouse the same as you would if you were in direct sunlight. Wear adequate protection at all times.
Tip Number 18 – Wear UV Protective Make-Up
One of the best ways to prevent skin cancer is to wear UV Make-Up. Many women forget that their face is also at risk and if you are wearing make-up, you are less likely to put sunscreen on. Cosmetic companies have come up with a solution to this problem and created UV make-up.
This is especially designed to protect the face against the strong UV rays. You can purchase UV foundation, UV moisturiser and UV protected eye shadow as well as UV protected lipstick. Mineral make-up in particular is a great type of make-up to look into as it not only provides protection against skin cancer, but it also contains natural ingredients so you don’t have to worry about chemicals such as coal tar.
Tip Number 19 – Beware of Cloudy Days
Many people do not understand that even on cloudy days you can still be at risk of skin cancer. You associate the sun with skin cancer and therefore when the sun isn’t shining quite so bright, you tend to feel reassured. However, UV rays can penetrate through the clouds and still give you sunburn. This is by far one of the biggest risks to people when it comes to skin cancer as you feel falsely protected.
So wear sunscreen on summer days, even when it seems cloudy outside. Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can penetrate through the clouds so it is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Tip Number 20 – Be Aware of Your Own Personal Risk Factors
There are a number of reasons why people may develop skin cancer and for each person it could be different. The color of your skin for example can affect your chances of developing the condition. Those with very pale skin and freckles are typically at a higher risk of developing skin cancer than those with darker skin without freckles. If you do have a lot of freckles then you will need to wear a higher sun protection factor safe sunscreen to protect your skin.
Overall, there are so many ways to protect yourself while you are out in the sun. So when looking at how to prevent skin cancer, follow the tips mentioned in this article and you will have the best chance of preventing the condition and ensuring your family live skin cancer free lives.