Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. If a person develops skin cancer there are many dire consequences which may even result in his death. In this article we will learn about skin cancer and skin cancer prevention tips.
What is skin cancer?
Cancers are abnormal development in cells. Cells divide to grow and when dividing they actually are copies of the cell that divided. When doing so sometimes there is a small abnormality, which is called mutation. When such cells divide they inherit the mutated cells characteristics and this abnormality is called cancer. The abnormal skin cells development is called skin cancer. Skin cancer is broadly classified as melanoma skin cancer and nonmelanoma skin cancer. Melanomas are patches on the skin that are like moles and they spread aggressively. They may be itchy. They can be in different colors and may also bleed. Nonmelanoma skin cancer is again broadly classified as basal-cell cancer (BCC) and Squamous-cell cancer (SCC). Basal-cell cancer are somewhat mild and just damages the skin around the area, but not likely to spread or cause death. It appears as a painless raised surface in the skin with a shiny appearance with blood cells running around, sometimes may also have ulcers. Squamous cell cancer is more likely to spread and usually presents as a lump of hard tissue with a scaly appearing top portion. Ulcer formation is also likely with this cancer. The important thing to know is that how to protect yourself from skin cancer rather than thinking of curing it after we get it.
Causes for skin cancer
The basic cause of skin cancer is exposure to UV radiation (ultraviolet radiation) from the sun. It is important to know how to protect skin from UV rays in order to avoid skin cancer. Ozone layer prevents the ultraviolet rays, but the ozone layer is thinning, this has resulted in more ultraviolet rays penetration and there by more exposure. It is also said that people with light cultured skin are more at risk. Another risk factor is weak immune system. The third risk factor is exposure to chemicals like bleaches and strong detergents. Lying on beaches for sun bath is one of the main reasons we expose our skin to ultraviolet radiation. However, with proper sunscreen protection and fully covered cotton clothes can minimize the risk of skin cancer. Skin cancer prevention tips are given below.
How to protect yourself from skin cancer
Skin protection from the sun is the basic way to avoid skin cancer. Sun exposure especially during the period 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. increases the possibility of ultraviolet radiation exposure. So direct sunlight should be avoided during this period or if you do have to go out learn how to protect skin from UV rays. Cover up with clothing and wear a hat and ultraviolet ray blocking sunglasses. Using broad spectrum sunscreen is also an easy way for skin protection from the sun. Avoid tanning and UV tanning beds.
Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. We should apply lavish quantities of sunscreen to the entire body 30 minutes before going outside this is one of the basic skin cancer prevention tips. Reapplication every one or two hours is recommended when the exposure risk is there. Excessive sweating or swimming is likely to take away some portion of the sunscreen so reapplying after such events is a necessity. Sunscreens cannot be used on babies up to six years and so babies should not be exposed to direct sun.
We can also examine our skin every fifteen days to a month visually to find out any abnormality. As soon as you notice any abnormal patch or mole a visit to a physician is a must.
Indoor tanning is to be avoided. Also use of tobacco should be avoided. Eating healthy food assists in building good resistance and that is recommended. Keeping our skin clean and using cotton clothes minimizes the advent of cancer.
Since exposure to sun is the major reason avoiding direct sun light is the most effective way to prevent skin cancer. Good fully covered cotton clothes should be worn when going outdoor. Outdoor activity should be minimized to the extent possible. Windows panes can be fitted with ultraviolet ray blocking shields. Young people within the age of 25 should always avoid exposure to sun. Basking on beaches should be minimized and if at all done it should be in early mornings or late evenings and that too with proper broad spectrum sunscreens.
There is an old saying that prevention is better than cure. So instead of relying on treatment after getting cancer, we need to be careful to avoid all those risks which are listed above and follow all skin cancer prevention tips. Tobacco products and strong chemicals are to be avoided totally. Wearing cotton clothes instead of synthetic fabrics will also help us reduce a lot of risks.