Lesser Known Facts About Skin Cancer And Its Prevention
Who doesn't like to soak in the sun? Its light and warmth can have a relaxing effect on us. But more than relaxing, the sun and its UV rays can wreck havoc (big time) on our skin! Contrary to popular belief, summer is not the only time that we are at risk for damage from the sun. And the worst that could happen to our skin is skin cancer. It's important to be aware of the lesser known facts about skin cancer and its prevention.
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Firstly, skin cancer is divided into two broad categories – melanoma and non-melanoma. The former type of cancer can be treated if diagnosed in its earliest stages. If not treated in time, it stands a risk to spread to other areas of the body! So, here are some facts about skin cancer that everyone needs to know about; after all, a stitch in time saves nine!
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- Fair and wheatish people are more prone to developing skin cancer as compared to dark-skinned people. This is because people with darker complexion have enough melanin in their skin, which protects them from the sun, to an extent.
- Whatever complexion you may have, always use sun protection like sunglasses, hats, umbrellas, scarves, sunscreen, sun block, pure cotton clothing, etc.
- Avoid tanning beds, spray-on tan and cosmetic tanning lotions as they increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
- Some types of treatments that require exposure to radiation can also make you prone to skin cancer.So always consult a skin specialist before going for any treatment that involves laser and radiation.
- Tattooing, getting a tattoo, or handling tattoo needles and other equipment can make you prone to skin cancer. Dermatologists suggest that people who have tattoos stand a greater risk of developing skin related issues including cancer than those who don't have tattoos.
- Men are generally at a greater risk for skin cancer than women. And when it comes to age, older people are more prone to it than youngsters.
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- Skin cancer could also affect you because of genetics. If your ancestors had skin cancer, it is likely that you could also suffer from it.
- Keep an eye on your skin. Examine your skin from head to toe for any spots, discolouration, moles, etc. Remember the ABCDE rule (Asymmetry, Border, Colour, Diameter and Evolving) while you examine your skin. Don't miss a spot; ask your partner to help you examine areas like scalp, behind ears, around nose, between toes, butt, privates, back, etc, where you can't reach.
- If you find anything new – a mole or a multicoloured spot that looks like a blemish – immediately see a dermatologist.
- Exposure to certain chemicals like arsenic, parrafins, sulphate and many more must be avoided and that makes your skin more susceptible to illnesses.
- Remain in shade from 9am to 4pm and use a good quality sun block with a broad spectrum, and SPF of 30 or more. Apply sunscreen all over your body and face half-an-hour before going out in the sun and re-apply every two hours.
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