Tips For Prevention Of Skin Cancer

Prevention and cancer screenings are key to ensuring survival when it comes to skin cancer. Even though your dermatologist plays a significant role in early detection and prevention, it is primarily up to you to take care of yourself and lower your risk of developing skin cancer. Here are some prevention tips to help you stay on top of your skin health.  

Perform Self-Examinations

It is important that you perform regular self-examinations of your skin. The examinations are designed to detect any changes to your skin, such as the appearance of new moles or changes to old ones. Ideally, you should check your skin at least once a month. Your dermatologist might recommend a more frequent examination schedule if you are at a high risk for developing skin cancer. 

When doing the examination, pay close attention to any skin growths, moles, or sores. Contact your dermatologist if you notice any skin growths that are multicolored, translucent, or pearly. You should also notify your doctor of moles that have changed in color or texture. Sores that are not healing after a few weeks should also be reported. 

Use Sunscreen and Protect Your Skin

It is recommended that you use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or more. The sunscreen needs to be applied before you go outside each day. The sunscreen is not just for your arms and legs. Your face, hands, neck, and ears also need to be protected. 

For added protection, be sure to use lip balm on your lips. Wear sleeves whenever possible. Clothing, such as a jean jacket, helps to protect your skin from harmful sun rays. 

If possible, avoid spending time outside when the sun is strongest. If you must, be sure to cover your head. 

Keep Up With Your Cancer Screenings

It is imperative that you are examined by a dermatologist each year. To get the most out of your cancer screening, remove all of the polish from your nails. It is possible for skin cancer to first form in the nail beds. You also need to note any changes to your skin that you have noticed. 

If you are unsure of how well you have self-examined your skin, ask your dermatologist to demonstrate how to properly do it. He or she can show you exactly what to look for. 

Consult with a local dermatologist (such as one from Vail Dermatology) to learn other ways that you can protect your skin and lower your risk of developing skin cancer.