It’s the most common type of cancer, but you can lower your risk. Use these tips to prevent skin cancer.
Wear sunscreen. Whether you remember it as a song by Baz Luhrmann or advice from your mother, it’s the number one tip to prevent skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. More than 5 million cases of are treated every year in the U.S. One in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime.
Since the main cause of skin cancer is exposure to UV light, or sunlight, it’s considered a lifestyle disease. And it can affect anyone, regardless of age or skin tone. The good news is that because it’s a result of lifestyle, it’s also possible to prevent. With a little extra care, you can lower your risk for skin cancer, even if you spend time outdoors.
Ten tips to prevent skin cancer:
- Stay out of the sun when it is strongest. This usually from 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
- Wear sunscreen when you’re going to be outdoors, even if it’s cloudy or you don’t think you’re at risk to get a sunburn.
- Choose water-resistant sunblock of at least SPF 30, which blocks nearly 97 percent of UVB rays.
- Look for a broad-spectrum sunblock, which protects from both UVB and UVA rays.
- Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside.
- Reapply sunblock every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
- Protect your face with a wide-brim hat.
- Wear a sun-protective swim shirt.
- Choose UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Avoid indoor tanning.
If you follow these ten tips, you should have it made in the shade. If you have any concerns about your skin or how you can better prevent skin cancer, reach out to your primary care doctor or dermatologist. If you’re in need of a physician, visit mercy.com or to find an expert, compassionate caregiver near you today.