May is Skin Cancer Awareness MonthGeneral, Healthy Living, Leg / Vein Health
Named the most common cancer in America with 5 million cases diagnosed each year, skin cancer can be preventable by taking the proper precautions each time before, during and after going outside. No matter if it’s cloudy or sunny outside, you always need to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Following these tips can help your skin stay healthy while also keeping you pain-free from sunburn. Share these with friends and family!
Anyone can get skin cancer, so wearing sunscreen is crucial in helping prevent the disease from developing. Sunscreen will also help prevent premature skin aging like wrinkles and age spots, which are caused by too much UV exposure. When using sunscreen, reapply every two hours or right after you swim or sweat. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen that offers the following:
- Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays).
- SPF 30 or higher.
- Water resistance.
It’s important to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside so it has a chance to dry before you’re able to sweat it off. Apply it to the tops of your feet, neck, ears and top of your head. Your lips are also at risk of skin cancer, so apply a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher.
Wear protective clothing.
To help protect from the sun’s harmful UV rays, wear clothing to add another layer of defense. Long-sleeved shirts that are lightweight are an effective tool, along with wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses with UV protection. Hats will shield your face and neck from the sun and can also cover your shoulders. For more effective sun protection, select clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) number on the label.
Tanning outside or indoors can have dangerous consequences. While being tan may come off as having healthy skin with a “glow,” it’s mostly a sign of skin damage. Tanning harms your skin cells and speeds up visible signs of aging while also increasing your risk of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
Studies have shown that there’s a 75% increased risk of developing skin cancer from just one indoor tanning session before the age of 35. If you want to be tan, consider sunless tanning products. You’ll be able to get a bronzed look without being exposed to harmful UV rays indoors and outdoors.
How to treat sunburn.
While we hope you don’t receive sunburn after following our sun protection tips, we know it can still happen. When trying to heal sunburn, it’s important to treat it as soon as you notice it. Follow these tips to alleviate the pain and redness from sunburn.
- Get out of the sun once you notice skin damage. It’s preferred to go indoors, but seeking shade is the next best option.
- Apply a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to help soothe the skin.
- Consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling, redness or discomfort.
- Drink extra water.
- If your skin blisters, allow them to heal. Do not pop the blisters as they help your skin recover and protect from infection.
- Take extra care to shield your sunburned skin while it heals.
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Determine if you are at risk for developing or already have symptoms for venous disease.