One of the main causes of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet radiation, or UV rays. UV rays are invisible, and are produced by the sun and tanning lamps. Most often, skin cancer is the result of overexposure to the sun.
UV rays cause skin cancer by creating changes in the cells of the skin. In some cases, the UV rays cause direct damage to the cells. Tans and sunburns, for example, are both signs that UV rays have damaged the skin. In other cases, UV rays cause skin cancer indirectly, by weakening the immune mechanisms in skin and the rest of the body.
Many studies of skin cancer show links between malignant melanomas and an individual's intolerance to sun exposure. The studies indicate that people who have suffered severe and frequent sunburns during childhood are at greater risk of developing skin cancer. The features most closely associated with intolerance to sun exposure include fair or freckled skin, blue eyes, and light-coloured or reddish hair.
To avoid the harmful effects of UV rays, you should:
Select shaded areas for outdoor activities.
Wear a broad-brimmed hat and clothing with a tight weave, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and gloves, if you have to spend long periods in the sun.
If you cannot cover up, use a sunscreen lotion with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15. Make sure it has both UVA and UVB protection. Apply liberally to exposed skin 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and re-apply 15 to 30 minutes after sun exposure begins. You should also re-apply sunscreen after vigorous activity that could remove the product, such as swimming, toweling or excessive sweating and rubbing.
Avoid overexposing yourself to the sun without protection, especially between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. during the summer months.
Avoid the use of tanning lamps.
Be aware that certain medications can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays. Consult your doctor if you have questions about your medication.
ref:The best way to detect skin cancer in its early stages is to examine your skin often. See your doctor right away if you notice any of the following:
abnormally dark or discoloured patches or spots; or
bleeding, crusting or change in the colour, size, or shape of a mole.
Hope you find this information useful.
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