We all know that prevention is better than treatment. If we are able to prevent an illness or medical condition, it is always best to try to. By preventing a medical condition, it gives you a higher chance of a long and happy life without complications. With the warmer weather showing and summer just around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about your sun safety. Being safe in the sun will help to reduce your risk of skin cancers. With skin cancer being the leading cancer in Australia, awareness and prevention is needed. So, what are ways to prevent skin cancer?
Wear sun safe items
Without a doubt, being in the sun is the leading cause of skin cancers appearing. Because of this, it is important to try and practice sun safety as much as possible. There are many ways that you can still enjoy being outside but do so in a safe way.
When going outside, even for a short while it is important to be prepared. This includes wearing sunscreen with an SPF factor of at least 30, a hat and sunglasses.
Sunscreen is important even if you are only going outside for a little while. It is a good idea to start including applying sunscreen to your morning routine. That way, you are not forgetting it and you are protected even when walking to get your morning coffee or going for a morning run.
If possible, without overheating yourself it is a good idea to try and cover your arms and legs whilst outside. This can be done by wearing breathable clothing or using an umbrella or wrap to help cover the different areas of your body.
Avoid indoor tanning
We know how great it looks when your skin has a bronzed look to it, however indoor tanning can be very damaging for your skin. When you use a tanning bed or sunlamp to darken the skin, you are exposed to high levels of UV rays.
When UV rays reach the skin’s inner layer, the skin makes more melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its colour. It moves toward the outer layers of the skin and becomes visible as a tan. Any change in skin colour after UV exposure (whether it is a tan or a burn) is a sign of injury, not health.
Rather than using a tanning bed, or laying outside in the sun to achieve your tan try using a product from the supermarket. These products give the same look and feel of a tan, without the UV rays and risks of skin cancer.
Stay out of the direct sunlight
When you are outdoors, try to stay out of the direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day. If you do need to be outside during these times, try to find a shady spot to be in, rather than directly under the sun. Between 10am and 4pm is when the UV rays are at their highest and this is when the most risk is there for you.
Try to stay out of the sun during these times to reduce your risk of skin cancers.
It is almost important to remember that even if you are not in the direct sunlight, the UV rays are still there and able to cause damage. Many people will look outside and see that it is cloudy, so assume that they are in the safe. This is not the case. UV rays are still able to penetrate through the clouds and cause concerns to your body. Even been to the snow and come home burnt? The cold doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get burnt from the sun. The UV rays are able to still come through. This is why it is important to ensure you are practicing sun safety at all times, even if the sun isn’t directly on you.
At Plastic Surgery Queensland we are able to assist with the removal and management of various skin cancers. However we aim to help prevent you from needing to seek treatment. If we can help to reduce the number of skin cancer cases across Queensland and the rest of Australia, we aim to!
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