Skin cancer typically develops due to the impact ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, and other sources, have on your skin. These rays can affect how skin cells replicate, which can sometimes lead to cancer. You can take steps to prevent skin cancer and, just as importantly, treat it in time. Learn more about skin cancer and what you can do to prevent it by reaching out to your Colorado Springs, CO, professional Dr. Ronald Johnson of Academy Dermatology and Laser Center.
Depending on where you live or what you do for work, or for fun, it may be difficult to avoid the sun entirely. However, it is still advisable that you seek shade whenever possible, especially during the peak hours of sun strength, which typically begin around two hours before noon and end two hours after.
Avoid Tanning Beds
There is the misconception that tanning beds are a good alternative to tanning under the sun, but a single session could be as damaging as a full day on the beach, and that one visit alone could greatly increase your chances of developing skin cancer. Overuse of tanning beds can also contribute to early signs of aging. Be skeptical of claims that tanning beds are good for your skin health, for advice on skin health and skin cancer turn to your Colorado Springs, CO, dermatologist.
Wear Protective Clothing
Clothes can be your main source of protection when you must venture out into the sun. Pants and long sleeves can minimize how much of your skin is exposed to the sun, sunglasses with UV protection can keep your eyes safe, and a large hat can help you bring the shade along wherever you go. Fabric that you can easily see through may not be suitable for blocking the sun's UV rays.
For any exposed skin, and for regular everyday use, a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 and above is recommended. But for prolonged physical activity under the sun, you'll want to turn to a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 and above, remembering to reapply it every two hours.
Self-Examinations and Checkups
Just as important as protecting your skin from the sun and UV rays is to regularly examine it. This means being diligent about any changes you notice on your skin. To help you spot signs of potential skin cancer your Colorado Springs, CO, dermatologist can guide you on what to look for on these routine examinations during your more thorough, and recommended yearly checkup.
Remember, although a common type of cancer, skin cancer is very treatable if it is caught early. So schedule your consultation today with Dr. Johnson of Academy Dermatology and Laser Center by dialing (719) 590-1800.