The sun is one of the most powerful forces in the solar system. It gives life to our planet and provides warmth and light. But the sun can also be dangerous. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause skin cancer.
What Makes You at Risk for Skin Cancer?
Most people don’t realize that they are at risk for skin cancer. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. So what puts you at risk for this disease?
There are a few things that can increase your risk of skin cancer, including:
Unprotected exposure to the sun: This is the most common cause of skin cancer. UV radiation from the sun can damage your skin, leading to skin cancer.
Fair skin: People with fair skin are more likely to develop skin cancer than people with darker skin. This is because fair skin doesn’t have as much melanin, which protects against UV radiation.
Family history: If you have a family member who has had skin cancer, you are more likely to develop the disease yourself.
Previous skin cancer: If you’ve had skin cancer before, you are more likely to get it again.
If you are concerned about your risk of skin cancer, talk to your doctor. They can help you assess your risk and recommend ways to protect yourself from the sun and other UV radiation.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Skin Cancer?
There are many things you can do to protect yourself from skin cancer:
Wear sunscreen every day: Even on cloudy days, reapplying it every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
Seek shade whenever possible: Especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense.
Cover up with clothes: This includes a wide-brimmed hat, face and neck with a scarf, and sunglasses.
Don’t use tanning beds or sunlamps: Sun lamps and tanning beds emit UVA and UVB radiation more powerfully than the sun. You are more likely to get cancer from any type of UV radiation.
Check your skin regularly for changes: You can do this by using a full-length mirror and a hand mirror, and see your doctor promptly if you notice anything suspicious.
See a dermatologist: If you have any suspicious areas of your skin, get examined by a dermatologist immediately.
The Dermatology Team at Musick is Here to Help
Do you think you might have skin cancer or want to learn more about preventing it? We can help you at Musick Dermatology. You can give us a call at (618) 628-2588.