Your Guide to Preventing Skin Cancer

13 Oct

prevent skin cancerEven though fall is just beginning, that doesn’t mean you stop protecting your skin, especially if you live in a high-altitude area like Aspen.

My boyfriend just got his annual skin check up. Early in his career he was a carpenter that loved pounding nails on roofs without a shirt on, so there are always a couple of spots that are of concern. Happily, everything came back good, but it made me think about how important it is to protect your skin.

Believe me, I spent many years in Hawaii as an avid sun worshipper, so I know that warm, relaxed feeling that laying out in the sun can give. But while Vitamin D is good for your physical as well as mental health, sun damage is not.

Sun damage doesn’t just cause premature aging—it causes skin cancer as well. Anyone who has experienced sun damage is prone to skin cancer, although some are more susceptible than others.
Let’s look at some key ways that you can prevent sun damage and skin cancer as well.

The Shade Is Your Friend

The sun is strongest between 10 AM and 2 PM. (although in Aspen it’s strongest/hottest at 3 pm) Try to stay out of the sun’s rays during these hours. If you are outside in this time range, seek some shade.

Cover Up

Lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs can really help prevent sun damage. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face as well.

Wear Sunscreen

Sunscreen provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays, the most harmful of the sun’s rays.

If you are outside, make sure that your sunscreen is waterproof even if you are not swimming—otherwise your sweat will take away your sun protection!

Pila recommends: Brush on Block

Reapply

Typically, you will need to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours to get the most out of your skin protection.

Never Use a Tanning Bed

Tanning beds are a breeding ground for ultraviolet ray damage. They undoubtedly cause premature aging and—most importantly—skin cancer. Never ever use them. Instead, opt for a “fo glow” or fake tan.

Examine Your Skin

Learn how to examine your skin to be on the look out for any potential signs of skin cancer. Catching signs early is key. If you see any new or suspicious looking spots, see a dermatologist, especially if a spot has seemed to change in size or shape or is itching or bleeding.

 

Follow these skin cancer prevention tips for beautiful, healthy skin free of sun damage. If you are already seeing signs of sun damage, check out my PEAS blog to learn how to combat any harm done.