Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., reports the American Academy of Dermatology. Luckily, skin cancer is one of the easiest types of cancer to prevent. The Charleston, SC, dermatologists at Trident Dermatology share a few tips that will help you protect your skin from the sun and lower your skin cancer risk.
Make sunscreen use a daily habit
Contrary to popular belief, your skin can be damaged by the sun even if you don't develop a sunburn. Using sunscreen every day will help reduce your skin cancer risk.
When you buy sunscreen, make sure the product you buy provides a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Be sure to reapply the sunscreen periodically throughout the day, especially after sweating or swimming. Experts recommend that you use enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass. Using less may mean that some parts of your body will be unprotected.
It's just as important to use sunscreen during the winter months. Although the sun's rays may be a little weaker, you can still develop skin damage and sunburn when you're outdoors, particularly if you participate in winter sports.
Stay out of the sun
Staying out of the sun as much as possible will help you avoid skin damage. Find shady spots when you're outdoors or bring a canopy or umbrella to the Charleston beach with you. Even if you faithfully stick to the shade, you'll still need to wear sunscreen, as the sand and other surfaces tend to reflect the sun.
Buy some shades
Skin cancer can also affect your eyes, plus sun exposure can increase your cataract risk. Wear sunglasses that offer protection against UVA and UVB rays to decrease the risk.
Wear protective clothing
Choose lightweight, breathable clothing that covers your skin as much as possible when outdoors. Wearing rash guards, hats, pants and long-sleeve shirts offer a simple way to prevent the sun's rays from reaching your skin.
Protecting your skin from the sun and visiting the dermatologist when you notice any unusual spots or changes in moles is the best way to safeguard your health. If you're concerned about skin issues, call the Charleston, SC, dermatologists at Trident Dermatology at (843) 797-3960 to schedule an appointment.