Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from direct sun exposure is a leading cause of melanoma. Sources of UV radiation also include tanning lamps and tanning beds. The distinctive brown spots that are hallmark signs of melanoma are commonly seen on face, back, legs, and arms. It can also develop in existing moles.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 6,850 people will die from melanoma this year. Fortunately, it is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. There’s a lot you can do to protect your skin from melanoma this summer.
Here are a few tips.
AVOID SUN EXPOSURE FROM 10 AM TO 4 PM
Between these hours, the sun is at its strongest and most damaging position. It is during these hours that you can develop a sunburn very quickly, which increases your melanoma risk. The best thing you can do is avoid spending time outside in direct sunlight during these hours. Try to schedule your outdoor activities before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
Wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher can protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Apply liberally on every surface of your exposed skin and reapply every two hours or every 30 minutes if you are swimming. Use this all year round, even if it’s no longer summer – including on cloudy days.
Most people often forget about protecting their eyes and lips when it comes to sun safety. Sunglasses can help you see better in sunlight and protect your eyes from the damaging rays of the sun. Since you cannot put sunscreen on your lips, it is important to carry an SPF lip balm with you at all times. Apply liberally and often.
GET TO KNOW YOUR SKIN
By familiarizing yourself with your skin texture and distinguishing marks and spots, you will be able to notice changes sooner and bring them to the attention of your doctor. Perform skin checks regularly and get any skin changes checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
MIND YOUR MEDICATION
There are certain types of medication that can increase sensitivity to the sun’s rays. Some antihistamines and antibiotics are common examples. Make sure to check for potential side effects and discuss them with your doctor. You may be able to choose alternative medications. If this isn’t possible, you should take precautions when going out in the sun.
COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CARE IN WOOSTER, OHIO
If you have a suspicious-looking skin growth or have a confirmed case of melanoma, visit the experts at Wooster Community Hospital today. Our cancer care team can examine you, give an accurate diagnosis, and provide highly personalized and advanced treatment for melanoma. We understand how challenging a cancer diagnosis is for patients, which is why we maintain a highly supportive environment in our care facilities.