Skin Cancer is a serious threat! The Skin Cancer Foundation continues to recommend that everyone wear Sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher in order to protect the Skin at all times. However, there are additional ways to prevent Skin Cancer that many people are unaware of. By learning more about how to prevent the Skin Cancer, and protecting your Skin, you can enjoy more outdoor time.
When going Outdoors, be sure to cover up when you can. Use a Hat to protect your Eyes as well as Skin from the Sun. Use Sunglasses to block the harmful Rays of the Sun as well as wearing Clothing that will protect the Skin on your Arms and Legs. Try to stay in Shaded Areas during the peak of the Day to limit your exposure to the Sun.
Avoid Tanning and Sunburn
It is also recommended that Tanning is avoided. Individuals should not use UV Tanning Beds or Tan Outdoors due to the risk of Skin Cancer. When you are Outdoors, it is important to use Sunscreen and avoid Sunburn. If you experience Sunburn often, you are at a higher risk to develop Skin Cancer. By wearing Sunscreen and avoiding purposely Tanning, you will be better protected from Skin Cancer.
Examine Your Skin
On a regular basis, take time to Examine your Skin. Take note of new Moles or Spots on your Skin as well as any Growth to existing Spots. You want to be sure that nothing has changed on your body. If you see a New Growth or Change, be sure to see a Physician to ensure that Skin Cancer is not present.
Sunburn or Skin Reactions
If you develop a Sunburn or Skin Reactions (such as a Rash) after relatively Minor Exposures to Sunlight, your Doctor may recommend seeing a Dermatologist for Phototesting. During Phototesting, Small Areas of your Skin are exposed to measured amounts of UVA and UVB Light to try to reproduce the problem. If your Skin Reacts to the UV Radiation, you’re considered Sensitive to Sunlight (Photosensitive).
If you’ve been Sunburned, it may take two days for the Severity of your Burn to become evident, and several more days for your Skin to begin to heal. Sunburn treatment doesn’t heal your Skin, but it can offer relief by reducing Pain, Swelling and Discomfort. If at-home care doesn’t help or your Sunburn is very Severe, your Doctor may offer additional Treatments for Sunburn Relief.
Once Sunburn occurs, you can’t do much to limit damage to your Skin. But the following tips may reduce your Pain and Discomfort:
- Take a Pain Reliever. If needed, an Over-The-Counter Pain Reliever such as Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or Naproxen Sodium (Aleve) may help control the Pain and Swelling of Sunburn, especially if you take it soon after Sun Exposure. Some types of Pain Relievers may be applied to your Skin as Gels.
- Cool the Skin. Take a Cool Bath or apply to the affected Skin Area a Clean Towel Dampened with Cool Tap Water.
- Apply a Moisturizer, Lotion or Gel. An Aloe Vera Lotion or Gel or Calamine lotion may be soothing.
- Drink Plenty of Water to prevent dehydration and re-hydrate your Skin.
- Leave Small Blisters alone. Don’t break them if they are Smaller than your Little Fingernail. If a Blister does break, clean it with Mild Soap and Water. Then use an Antibiotic Ointment on the Wound and Cover it with a Nonstick Bandage. If you develop a Rash at the Site, stop using the Ointment and see a Doctor as soon as possible.
- Treat Peeling Skin gently. Within a few days, the affected area may begin to Peel. This is your Body’s way of getting Rid of the Top Layer of Damaged Skin. While your Skin is Peeling, continue to Moisturize.
- For Severe Sunburn, try an Over-The-Counter Hydrocortisone Cream, which may ease the discomfort.
- Protect your Sunburn from further Sun Exposure. Stay out of the Sun or Protect yourself from Sunlight when you go Outside.
- Avoid applying ‘caine‘ products, such as Benzocaine. Such creams may irritate the Skin or cause an Allergic Reaction. Don’t use Benzocaine in Children Younger than Age 2 without Supervision from a Health Care Professional. If you’re an Adult, never use more than the recommended Dose and consider talking with your Doctor before using it.
Visit Your Physician
Adults should be Visiting a Doctor once a Year to have your Skin checked for Cancer. Especially if you are out in the Sun often, it is important to have your Skin reviewed once a Year to make sure no problems are present.
Apply Sunscreen Continually When Outdoors
Whenever you are Outdoors, be sure to apply Sunscreen to your Body. Your Face, Arms, Legs, Head and Ears all need to be covered with Sunscreen. Re-Apply frequently if you are Swimming. By having UV Protection, you are lowering your Risk of being susceptible to Skin Cancer.
Following the above tips can help to lower your risk of Skin Cancer. Talk to a Physician to learn more about what you can do to Lower your Potential of getting Skin Cancer.
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