You can prevent skin cancer with a few important habits and actions to protect your skin. It can feel overwhelming to learn about skin cancer, but prevention is within your control! It’s absolutely possible to enjoy the sun and spend time outdoors, while still practicing sun safety, to reduce your chance of getting skin cancer. Protecting your skin also helps prevent signs of aging like sun spots, wrinkles, pigmentation, and more.
Here are some great ways to protect your skin:
Scan your skin
Early detection is key when it comes to skin cancer. By regularly scanning your skin and noticing anything out of the ordinary, you’ll be able to keep an eye on any new arrivals or unusual bumps that you haven’t seen before. Keep an eye out for the acronym “ABCDE”: asymmetry, border, color, diameter and evolving. When it’s detected early, the 5-year survival rate for skin cancer is 99%.
Cover your skin
Wear a lightweight layer that covers your arms and legs when you’re outside and you’ll be protecting your skin in a way that even the best sunscreen can’t. Light breathable fabrics will wick sweat if you’re exercising, and breezy linens can be a lovely fashion statement that also contribute to keeping your skin protected.
Know your sunscreen
Choosing the right sunscreen is just as important as remembering to put it on. Here are some important sunscreen tips:
- Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Look for broad-spectrum protection. That means making sure your sunscreen has both UVA and UVB protection.
- Prioritize water resistant products–especially if you know you’ll be sweating or swimming.
Apply a generous amount of sunscreen and spread it evenly, remembering sneaky areas like the tops of your ears or the back of your neck. Make sure you’re putting sunscreen on any area of exposed skin that isn’t covered by clothing. Most adults need 2-3 tablespoons to cover their whole body.
Remember to apply sunscreen regularly-especially after sweating, exercising, or before putting on makeup. Reapply your sunscreen every two hours. If you have kids, throw a bottle in their backpack so they’ll remember to put it on. By incorporating sunscreen into your daily ritual and making it a habit, you are more likely to remember to apply it regularly! Perhaps having it right by the door or putting on sunscreen right after a shower will be a useful way to make it a part of your routine
Don’t forget your lips and eyes.
Choose a lip sunscreen or balm with an SPF of 30 or higher and apply regularly throughout the day. The skin around your eyes is especially thin and needs extra protection, so use a dermatologist-recommended face sunscreen and wear sunglasses with UV protection.
Check the expiry date!
If you haven’t always been great about putting on sunscreen, make sure you’re not using expired products that have been sitting in your cupboard for years. Does it smell or look funny? It may have expired. Refresh your sunscreen supply regularly to make sure it’s working hard to protect you, all year long.
Do you have sun damage, or concerns about skin cancer?
Ask your doctor for a referral or book a skincare consultation with us to explore solutions and answer questions.