Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. And to put that into perspective, this means that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
While patients can develop skin cancer genetically, there are natural factors that can cause it as well. Our skin experts and dermatologists are here to share how you can prevent skin cancer and how to know if you’re at risk.
How Can I Prevent Skin Cancer?
As mentioned above, you may have a higher risk of developing skin cancer if a family member has been diagnosed. But regardless of whether it’s present in your genetics, there are simple ways you can prevent dangerous forms of skin cancer.
Protecting your skin from excessive exposure to the sun and harmful UV rays is the most important step in preventing skin cancer—and the most neglected. Try to avoid getting sunburn by seeking shade, covering up with a hat and wearing UV protection sunglasses. For hours of outdoor activity, make sure you’re wearing a waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply as directed. And for daily protection, be sure to use skin care products and/or moisturizers with an SPF of 15 or higher.
Lastly, avoid laying out or using tanning beds at all costs. There are several negative effects of indoor and outdoor tanning as both severely damage your skin. Even if it’s your first time tanning and you haven’t experienced any sunburn, you’ve still put yourself at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.
If you’re interested in a bronze, sun-kissed glow without damaging your skin, read more here.
How Do I Know if I Have Skin Cancer?
While there’s no way of confirming you have skin cancer without visiting your dermatologist, you should be cautious and make the call if you notice any changes in your skin.
Skin cancer symptoms vary, but a couple of common signs are new or unusual growths and changes in size, shape or color of an existing spot or mole. Some types of skin cancers can even begin as a pale patch of skin or a translucent bump, and at times, contain veins or an indentation. While several skin cancers develop in areas of the body that are exposed to the sun, they may also appear on hidden areas—or surprising areas such as your eyes.
Be sure to regularly examine your skin for any changes or unusual symptoms, especially if you’re high-risk, call your dermatologist if you’re at all concerned. Skin cancer can be eliminated after treatment if it’s detected early—so don’t hesitate to see a specialist.
Skin Cancer Prevention | Toledo, Ohio
The team at Anders Dermatology is serving patients in Toledo and surrounding areas such as Sylvania and Perrysburg. If you would like to schedule a skin cancer screening or be consulted on skin care products with SPF, call our office at 419.473.3257.
Plus, be sure to check out our specials for monthly offers on our cosmetic services!