Among the many ways to prevent skin cancer, 5 are critical to anyone who cares about preventing this silent killer.
1. Avoid the sun: Keep the sun away from your skin; this is important for anti aging, too. If you must spend time outdoors, cover up. Wear a hat and something to cover the back of your neck, long sleeved shirts and leg coverings between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when solar rays are strongest.
2. Clothing: Hold your clothing up to the light: Can you see through it? If so, be aware that the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can penetrate the weave. The average t-shirt has an SPF of about 8. If you are very serious about preventing skin cancer, wear sunscreen under your clothing or find a tight-weave shirt.
3. Wear Sunblock: Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 for brief incidental exposure, 30 if you will be out in the sun for a prolonged period, and 50+ if you plan, say, a day at the beach. And reapply as often as necessary given exposure time, contact with water, and sweat. Do not forget to protect your hands.
Apply about a shotglass full of sunblock all over your body, and a teaspoonful on your face and neck. A quality cream will absorb in a few minutes.
Although conventional widsom and some product labels says otherwise, there is no need to wait 15 to 30 minutes after applying sunblock before going outside. Mineral-rich formulas are designed to deflect the sun’s rays and are ready to go when you are.
4. Eat right. Fill your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables. Many experts see evidence that the anti aging properties in deep leafy greens and dark fruits can work from the inside out to ward off free radical damage caused by the sun’s rays. Think anti cancer with every meal.
5. Protect skin while out of the sun. Get annual skin checks at your dermatologist’s office and watch for changes in moles. Caught early, melanoma is highly curable. An anti aging cream when worn at night can also be helpful. It hydrates and may help repair cellular damage caused by the sun and the environment.
The 5 ways to prevent skin cancer are especially important if you are fair-skinned and light-eyed. But they are year-round essentials for everyone. Remember, if you can see a shadow, the sun’s rays are following you. Do not give them an opportunity to let them damage your skin.