Tips to Prevent Skin Cancer

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Tips to Prevent Skin Cancer
Sun exposure has some extremely harmful effects like premature aging, sun burn, tanning and most dangerous of all - skin cancer. This makes sun protection very important. In this article, we will discuss how you can minimize the effect of UV rays and protect yourself from it using sunscreen and sunblock.

Sunscreen v/s Sunblock
Sunscreen is used to absorb and scatter UVB rays, protecting the skin from them. Sunscreen should be used on a daily basis. It is lightweight and transparent when it's applied. Sunblock contains minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that physically create a barrier against both the sun's UVA and UVB rays. It is usually white, thicker and remains visible after you put it on. Many people don’t like using it because it looks like white paint on the skin but it is advisable to use it if you are spending an entire day on the beach.

Liberal use is recommended
Even the most perfect SPF or the best sunblock does not protect against the sun for more than an hour or two. That even includes waterproof and water-resistant sunscreens! So you must follow this skin care tip for keeping sun rays at bay: Always reapply the sunscreen about every hour or so when you're outdoors.

Other skin care tips

  1. Select a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Look for products containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they protect against the full spectrum of UVA rays.
  2. Apply sunscreen everyday even if you do not plan to go out in the sun. Sun’s energy is omnipresent and affects you even when you are indoors. Use an SPF of 15 or higher.
  3. Wear clothes which protect you from the sun. Cover yourself by wearing full bodied clothes like pants, skirts and long sleeved shirts and tops. Dark clothing can block nearly all UV radiation and tightly woven fabrics are more protective than loose ones.
  4. Avoid the sun when it gets too hot, especially between 10 am to 4 pm. If you are however out in the sun during these peak hours, then seek the shade. It works similar to an SPF.
  5. Reflective surfaces like water, snow and sand can reflect up to 85% of the sun’s rays. So you need to take extra precautions while traveling in such terrains.
  6. Skin cancer is becoming very common these days due to ozone depletion. Check in with your dermatologist for regular skin cancer screenings.
  7. Keep an eye on your skin. Look for new moles or changes in old moles and report any concerns to your health care provider. Annual skin exams for anyone over 40, or for anyone with fair skin or a history of multiple sunburns are must.
  8. Don't dismiss an odd-looking or changing mole because it doesn't resemble the textbook example; show it to a dermatologist.

If you have more skin care tips in this department, do drop in a comment.

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