Sunday, April 7, 2013

Guarding Against Skin Cancer

Almost everyone loves to get outside and spend a few hours in the sun; however, many people do not realize the dangers that the sun presents. Although sunlight gives energy, provides people with a mental boost, and is important for Vitamin D, too much exposure can cause someone to be diagnosed with skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, and although the sunlight is usually the primary cause of this cancer, other factors can also be responsible. People who have a family history of cancer, spend lots of hours in tanning beds, or have sensitive skin will be at a higher risk for developing this type of cancer. Luckily, there are several ways in which people can prevent being diagnosed with this disease.

Pay attention to medication
Many medications contain ingredients that will increase a person's chances of getting sunburns, and unfortunately, sunburns can drastically increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, people should consult with their doctors to determine if their medications will increase their sensitivity to the sunlight.

Wear sunscreen
People should always be sure to wear sunscreen daily. Even if it is a cloudy day, sunscreen should be worn. Since many experts agree that the ozone layer is weakening, people can no longer rely on natural protection against the sunlight. When choosing a sunscreen to wear, people should be sure to choose one that has at least an SPF 15 or higher. Also, people should be sure to apply the sunscreen every 30 minutes or as recommended by the label.

Protective clothing
Another way to prevent skin cancer is by wearing protective clothing. If the skin is covered, the sunlight cannot harm it. One piece of clothing that is good to wear is a wide-brimmed hat. These hats will cover a large portion of the individual's face and neck. Additionally, some clothing is specifically designed to protect the person against the sun's UV rays. This type of clothing is especially helpful for people who will be in the sun for long periods of time.

Avoid tanning beds
Although many people desire to get tans throughout the year, tanning beds can be extremely dangerous. Tanning beds expose people to UV rays; however, these rays are much more dangerous than the sun's UV rays. People who use tanning beds regularly will have a much higher chance of developing melanoma, which is one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer.

Avoid sunlight
Although the sun is extremely important and extremely enjoyable, it can present many dangers. Therefore, people should try to spend time outdoors during the evening hours as opposed to the sun's peak hours.

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