Skin cancer remains very common across the U.S. The main causes of this type of cancer are UV exposure from the sun and from tanning beds. While you should of course protect your skin when you are out swimming, hiking all day, or enjoying other sun-filled activities, there are also sun protection steps you should take on a daily basis: while running errands, walking the dog, etc. That’s because sun damage has a cumulative effect. It builds on itself over the years and may eventually lead to a form of skin cancer.
Here are a few prevention tips:
- Wear sunscreen. It may seem obvious, but it remains so important! For a normal work day or day where you won’t be spending much time in the sun, consider choosing an SPF-15 face moisturizer or concealer. On the weekends or vacation, it’s time to slather on the sunblock. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides UVA/UVB protection with SPF 30 or higher. You need to apply at least 1 ounce of sunscreen across the exposed areas of skin, about 30 minutes before you go outside. Reapply every couple of hours.
- Stay in the shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The rays from the sun are most intense and direct at these hours. Of course for outdoor activities, you’ll probably have to be in the sun some of the time. But try to get in the shade when possible.
- Cover your skin. Wide brimmed hats are a great way to shield your skin from the sun. There are wide brims for leisure, vacation, gardening, hiking, boating, and more. Wear loose long sleeves and pants whenever possible. Sunglasses (that feature UV protection) are also essential and lower the risk of cataracts later in life.
At Summit Healthcare of Pinetop and Show Low, cancer treatment is a big part of what we do. When someone is facing a skin cancer diagnosis, it can be scary both for them and their loved ones. Our experienced doctors – including oncologists, surgeons, and radiation oncologists – are here to help you navigate the treatment process for these commonly diagnosed forms and others:
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Basal cell carcinoma
To arrange an appointment to discuss your skin cancer detection or treatment options, please call our main phone number in Show Low, AZ, at 928-537-4375.