Your skin is not just about visual appeal. Besides delaying or reversing aging signs, you also need to invest more in keeping it healthy. Among the health threats you should not overlook is skin cancer. When diagnosed early, leading edge dermatology can deliver interventions and treatments to stop it in its tracks with less invasive measures. If not addressed in time, the less-invasive options may not be viable, requiring surgical treatments. The good news is that you have a lot at your disposal that you can use to help prevent skin cancer development. Among the simple yet effective prevention measures includes:
- UV prevention
UV exposure is the leading skin cancer cause. Besides the sun, sources like sunbeds, tanning beds, and sunlamps frequented for skin-darkening purposes also expose you to UV. A tan may seem like a sign of good skin health, but it actually indicates damage. Whether from your tanning efforts or sun exposure, the damage accelerates skin’s aging and all cancer types, including melanoma. Limiting or avoiding the tanning quests can help lower skin chances, and for the sun:
- Wear sunscreen and protective clothing
- Avoid outdoor spaces when the sun is at its peak, typically from 10 am to 4 pm.
- Seek shade
- Be cautious when around reflective surfaces like water, sand, and snow
- Healthy diet
UV exposure leads to skin cancer by triggering free radical generation. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules responsible for the inflammation that impacts cell function and the skin’s DNA. The affected DNA leads to gene changes referred to as mutations. The mutation causes abnormal growth, hence skin cancer.
Your nutritional efforts can help fight free radicals and lower skin cancer risk. The damage leads to antioxidant depletion, which you can replenish and help the body to fight the free radicals. Antioxidants are protective substances you can bolster through meals rich in fruits and vegetables. Increasing omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C, E, and A, beta carotene, lycopene, zinc, and polyphenols, to name a few nutrients, can help keep skin cancer at bay while supercharging your overall health.
Thoroughly examine your skin at least once a month. This is a chance to check for unusual changes and take appropriate steps like having it examined. Early detection is critical since you can implement less-invasive measures to avoid potential skin cancer spread.
- Routine checks
How often do you see a dermatologist? For most people, a dermatologist’s visit is only thought of when battling aging signs or conditions like problematic acne. This is not the best strategy as you strive to avoid skin cancer. Routine checks, more so with concerns like a mole changing color, shape, or size, are recommended.
Routine checkups can help you identify cancer risks and ensure you implement effective measures to mitigate them. If there are developing worries, the professionals can also thoroughly diagnose and treat them before they escalate and necessitate invasive measures. Ideally, it would help if you visited a dermatologist once a year.
Your skin’s health is critical since the largest organs help protect the internal organs. Implementing practical measures to keep it glowing while limiting skin cancer risks is recommended. Contact Elyse Julian, DO, FAAD, today for more on skin cancer, prevention, and treatments available.