Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer that is easily preventable. Because you can take steps to keep it from developing, no one should ever have to suffer from it. By making some simple tweaks to your lifestyle, you'll always keep your skin healthy and cancer free.
Prevent Melanoma by Avoiding the Sun
You don't have to stay out of the sun all day to prevent skin cancer. However, experts recommend limiting your time outdoors between 10 am and 4 pm. These hours are when the sun is the brightest and most harmful. This is true even in the winter and when it's cloudy. Your body can absorb UV rays through the clouds, which ups your risk of developing skin cancer. Schedule your outdoor activities earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon whenever possible to cut your risk.
Wear Sunscreen Every Single Day
One of the best ways to ward off melanoma is to wear sunscreen every single day. Even exposure from driving your car or sitting near a window can cause the cellular changes that lead to skin cancer. You should apply at least SPF 15 anytime you plan to be outside. Then, you need to reapply every two hours afterward. If you go swimming or get sweaty, you should also reapply your sunscreen. Look for a water resistant sunscreen if you plan to be in the water and make sure you reapply it when you get out of the water. Some experts caution against using anything lower than an SPF 30 so check with your doctor about your best option.
Choose Protective Clothing
Many manufacturers produce clothing that has sun protection built in. These offer additional protection for your skin when you're outside. You can also buy a rinse that absorbs into your clothing, which offers similar amounts of protection. You should also try to keep your skin as covered as possible. Choose lightweight materials and a broad brimmed hat and wear them every time you go outside. You should also wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection to keep melanoma from developing in your eyes. It's important to make a habit of wearing sun protection every single time you're outside. Even one blistering sunburn can lead to skin cancer.
Take Care of Your Skin
One of the best ways to care for your skin is to stay away from tanning beds. Many people have developed skin cancer as a result of using tanning beds and most skin experts will tell you to avoid them at all costs. You should also check your skin once a month and look for any changes or new spots. Make sure you also see your dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin check. He or she will map your skin and note any troubling spots so that you can create a treatment plan for getting rid of them.