Skin cancer as we all know, is now becoming more widespread. People are getting more affected and with more research it can be seen that family history traces also influence the same.
Skin cancer although does not really sound as severe as other cancers, but if look deeply we will understand that it is not the case.
So, let’s understand more about skin cancer and how to prevent skin cancer.
1. Basic Preventive Measures: How to Prevent Skin Cancer?
Starting from very basic steps, which anyone and literally everyone should follow to prevent skin cancer.
Sun exposure should be avoided, specifically in the hours between 10 AM and 4 PM because these are the hours when the sun is at its peak and has the maximum effect.
However, if you do have to step out make sure you are wearing clothes that cover your bare body, if the heat is too intense you can even consider wearing a hat or neck scarf for extra protection.
No matter what the weather is, do not step out any day without applying sunscreen, and make sure to use a sunscreen that is broad spectrum and protects from both UV A and B rays.
If you are doing any activity involving water, or leading to a lot of sweating, consider reapplying every 2 hours.
Even then you should remember that sunscreen can not block all the ultraviolet rays, so covering via light-coloured cotton clothing is always a good idea.
Recreational activities like sunbathing are super fun when thinking about and even when we are doing them, but you have to be very thoughtful of what will be the consequences of the same.
Since these long exposures can actually harm your skin a lot, we do not realize it while it is happening.
Although it might sound very small and insignificant, the parts of your face that can be covered with sunscreen are the eyes, under eyes, and lips. So, on the safer side use glasses which give you high UV protection.
If you opt for polarised lenses that are dark they will also give you a cooling effect when you wear them in the daytime. Also, use lip balms with SPF for better protection of your lips.
Keep a thorough check of your body from time to time, and examine all of your body to see any extreme skin changes. Also, get a routine checkup done by your dermatologist to be safe in the first place.
2. How to Figure out if you have Skin Cancer of Any Type?
2.1. Squamous Cell Carcinoma
It is a type that usually develops on the head, ears, hands, and back of the neck and basically on those body parts that are more exposed to the sun as compared to others.
If you have a thick crusted scalp or dull red skin lesions which are red in color or ulcerated appearance then you should consult your dermatologist for squamous cell carcinoma.
2.2. Basal Cell Carcinoma
It is the most common type of skin cancer which has risen in numbers lately and a large part of the reason is the use of tanning beds and activities like sunbathing.
Although it is not very dangerous and does not spread very easily. However early detection leads to easier eradication.
If you have a pearly or waxy appearance, the sunken center refers to the areas that are under sun exposure.
If it looks like you have irregular blood vessels on that surface of your body, or if you bleed very easily after an injury, you definitely should get yourself checked for Basal cell carcinoma.
For Melanoma, which is basically the most dangerous type, it is best if you can detect it earliest to actually cure it because at later stages it might get problematic.
The moles found in such a case are those having very asymmetrical borders, and they are ragged.
They can be of varying colors even within a single mole they can range from brown to black. They are usually bigger than 6mm, and lastly, they tend to evolve along all these characters.
3. Factors which Increase the Risk of Skin Cancer
People who are immuno-compromised due to any reason like stem cell transplant, immunodeficiency virus like AIDS, or even some types of leukemia are at a higher risk of being affected by skin cancer, specifically squamous cell carcinoma, which makes them take immunosuppressive drugs, thus making them more susceptible.
Indoor tanning is a slow cursor for skin cancer. People do not realize this easily and quickly but using devices like tanning beds and sunlamps has long-lasting effects.
And continuous or everyday use tends to increase the chance of you being at more risk.
People with any type of skin color or type are susceptible to getting skin cancer, but people who have fairer complexions, blond or red-haired people, and those with freckles are highly more likely to contract the same.
People who have undergone treatments like radiation therapies are more likely to be affected by skin cancer, although this does also change with age.
But if children are exposed to radiotherapy at a young age then the chance of them being affected by skin cancer is increased by a large percentage.
If a person has had one type of skin cancer earlier, there is a fair probability that they can be affected again by some other type of skin cancer.
Similarly, people who have skins that have been burnt before by sunburns or have been damaged by some sort of disease or infection, are at a higher risk.
4. End Note
Skin cancer can affect anyone. It is always a better option to check yourself with a doctor if anything looks concerning about your skin.
Early detection of skin cancer, is highly treatable and almost all skin cancers can be treated efficiently before they spread to the entire body.