Dermatologist explains recommendations for how to prevent skin cancer in Lansdale
While cancer is a very scary word, the good news is that steps can be taken to help prevent it. If you scour the internet you can find thousands of articles with recommendations for preventing skin cancer. While no method of prevention is guaranteed, following certain guidelines can certainly help you lower your risk for developing skin cancer.
Before getting into our recommendations, let’s start with a quick rundown of the different types of skin cancer:
These pre-cancerous areas develop on the skin as a direct result of sun exposure. They can be small, red, scaly or bumpy. For some, they can even look like warts. If left alone, actinic keratoses can potentially develop into skin cancer.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Generally caused by sun exposure and/or or tanning bed exposure, this is the most common type of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinomas often look like raised, transparent bumps on the skin. In some cases, they may even break open and bleed. They may also appear like pink, shiny, or scar-like areas. Basal cell carcinomas are usually localized and rarely travel in the body.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The second most common type of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinomas are usually red, scaly patches of skin, but can also appear pink, opaque, or even as open sores. Typically caused by long-term sun exposure, squamous cell carcinomas do have the potential to spread and become deadly, especially if neglected.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer because it has the potential to spread to other areas of the body. Melanoma generally appears as black-brown areas that are irregularly shaped. When identifying suspicious areas for melanoma it’s important to look for signs such as: border irregularity, color variation, diameter, and changes.
So, what can you do to lower your risk of developing skin cancer? Follow these tips to help prevent the disease:
- Wear sunscreen every day, all year round – A sunscreen with broad spectrum protection and at least SPF 30.
- Wear protective clothing – Sunscreen can’t filter out all UV rays, which is why it’s important to protect your skin with clothing. You can purchase UPF clothing online or in many department stores.
- Stay out of tanning beds – Tanning bed lights emit UV rays that are just as harmful as sunlight.
- Stay out of the sun during peak times – Try to avoid exposure when the sun is strongest (usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
For more information on preventing skin cancer, contact your Lansdale area dermatologist today at (215) 392-6636.