Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes, the cells that give the skin its color, grow uncontrollably. Melanoma develops anywhere on the skin, but commonly starts on the legs in women and the chest and back in men. The neck and face are the other common places for it to show up. The leading cause of skin cancer is exposure to UV radiation.
Preventing melanoma can include the following lifestyle tips:
1. Reduce time in the sun
The first step towards the prevention of melanoma is to reduce the exposure to UV light. Avoid the use of tanning beds or direct sunlight. If you can, try to avoid the midday sun and wear long and full sleeve clothes.
2. Wear sunscreen
Apply sunscreen regularly. However, this is not enough. Ensure that you apply sunscreen generously all over the exposed parts of the body 20 minutes before you step out. Sunscreen takes time to interact with the skin and form a protective layer.
Always use a sunscreen with an SPF of more than 30 if you are going to be outdoors for more than 20 minutes. Also, the sunscreen should be resistant to both UVA and UVB rays. So, always check the label before making a purchase.
The reapplication of sunscreen is essential, as it is effective only for a few hours. So, you have a long day planned, reapply it after every two hours or after excessive sweating and swimming. Many people tend to not reapply sunscreen when they are indoors; however, do not do that. Application is important even if you are indoors, on cloudy days, or winter mornings.
3. Protective clothing
Wear protective clothing. If you are planning to be out in the sun for the whole day, ensure that you wear a lightweight long-sleeve shirt. Additionally, choose long pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses. Clothes act as a deterrent and protect from the sun. This is a simple step towards the prevention of melanoma.
4. Avoid tanning
Avoid tanning booths and sunbeds, as the UV rays are harmful. Tanning lamps radiate UV rays that can cause skin damage in the long run. It also contributes to skin cancer. A majority of dermatologists and health organizations do not advise the use of sunlamps and tanning beds.
5. Examine your skin
Perform regular skin-examination. The prevention of melanoma is better than treating it through medication and intervention. It is easy to detect skin cancer early if you are alert and vigilant. Do a self-examination from head to toe regularly and check for any new or suspicious spots on the skin, itching, bleeding, or pigmentation. See a doctor if you find these changes.
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the country. Hence, it is essential to be educated about it.