14 Feb Skin cancer
Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of cells on your skin, usually on the portions of your skin most exposed to sunlight, but not always. There are three major forms of skin cancer:
basal cell carcinoma
squamous cell carcinoma
Of these cancers, melanoma is the most severe. You increase your risk of developing this type of cancer with any type of exposure to UV light—from the sun or from a tanning light. As such, limit your time in tanning beds (or preferably avoid them altogether!) and always where sunscreen with a high SPF when spending time in the sun. Many dermatologist recommend wearing sunscreen on your face everyday, regardless of whether you are planning on being in the sun or not. If you are aware and careful NOW, you will reduce your risk of getting skin cancer IMMENSELY when you are older.
Check your skin regularly so you know what your skin looks like: CHANGES on your skin are one sign that something could be funky. Moles on your skin are definitely something that you should monitor. Here’s a little 411 on what moles might be cause for concern: The ABC’s of melanoma – skin Cancer – are:
A=Asymmetry – when one half of the mole does not match the other half, have it checked out.
B=Border – when the border or edges of the mole look jagged or blurred, have it checked out.
C=Color – when the color is not the same throughout or contains some shades of brown, black or other colors, have it checked out.
D=Diameter – when math class comes in handy! If the diameter of the mole in question is larger than an eraser head, have it checked out.
Consider seeing a dermatologist regularly, especially if you have had a sunburn that has blistered anytime in your past. Blistering sunburns greatly increase your risk of developing skin cancer as does living at a higher elevation (like in the mountains) as this increases your exposure to UV rays. Having fair skin also puts you more at risk because fair skin lacks melanin—the pigment in skin—which means you have less protection from UV rays
No matter what your skin tone, protect yourself when in the sun! Consider wearing hats and long sleeved shirts when in the sun. And always apply sunblock. In fact, reapply that sunblock every few hours.
(Sources: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/melanoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20374884 and https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/skin-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20377605)
Do you worry about getting skin cancer? What precautions do you take?