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The Best Preventive Measures Against Skin Cancer

Jun 21, 2023
The Best Preventive Measures Against Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. Take these simple steps to protect yourself from harmful ultraviolet rays and maintain healthy, beautiful skin.

Skin cancer affects about 20% of Americans, or one in every five people, by time they reach age 70. You can greatly reduce your risk of developing any version of skin cancer by protecting yourself from disease. Excessive sun exposure can also prematurely age you.

While exposure to the sun is inevitable in Twin Falls, Idaho, you can take action to minimize sun exposure. Here at Twin Falls Dermatology and Aesthetics, LLC, Laurel Krupski, PA-C, MSW, recommends the following preventive steps to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. 

Use sunscreen

A broad-spectrum sunscreen protects you from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Choose one that has an SPF of 15 or higher and apply it daily, even in the winter months or on cloudy days. If you’re outside for hours at a time or enjoying water sports, choose a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. Reapply every 1-2 hours to stay protected. 

Avoid sunburns

Having five or more sunburns in your life doubles your risk of developing deadly melanoma. Sunburns are uncomfortable and avoidable if you seek shade, wear sun-blocking clothing, and apply sunscreen. Make sure your kids are protected, too. 

Be aware of peak sun hours

The sun is at its strongest between the hours of 10am and 4pm. If you’re able, avoid direct sun exposure during these times. If your activities take you outside in these peak hours, be extra diligent about sunscreen application. 

Dress for the sun

Wear a hat to protect your scalp and face. Loose long-sleeve shirts and pants made from cool, airy fabrics like linen and cotton cover you by help you stay cool. 

Don’t forget your eyes either; wear UV-blocking sunglasses. 

Keep out of tanning beds

Tanning beds deliver a concentration of dangerous UV rays. Avoid seeking out tanning beds or long hours “laying out” by the pool. If you desire the tanned, sun-kissed look, opt for self tanner which gives you a glow without the dangerous rays. 

Check yourself

Monthly self-skin checks help you keep track of any suspicious moles or lesions. If you find anything that looks unusual, don’t hesitate to call us here at Twin Falls Dermatology and Aesthetics, LLC. Moles that have changed size, shape, or color could be a sign of skin cancer. 

Other things to look for include:

  • A new spot on your skin, especially if it’s itchy or painful
  • A non-healing sore that’s crusty or bleeds
  • Red, rough scaly spots or patches
  • A growth with a central crust and raised border
  • Wart-like growths, especially in areas that get lots of sun exposure
  • Red or skin-colored shiny bumps on the skin’s surface

If you notice any of these signs, make an appointment to have it checked. They may indicate basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma. Both of these cancers can be treated successfully when caught early. 

Laurel encourages you to come in for a yearly skin check, too. She can identify irregular moles and find any suspicious spots on areas that are hard for you to see, including your scalp and back. 

Prompt treatment for skin cancer means you are most likely to avoid complications or cancer spread.

If you do have a suspicious lesion, have a history of skin cancer, or need your annual skin check, make an appointment at Twin Falls Dermatology and Aesthetics, LLC. Call today or use this website to book an appointment.