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Guarding Your Glow: A Guide to Skin Cancer Prevention

By: Our Team


   In the warm embrace of the sun, we find comfort, joy, and a healthy dose of vitamin D. However, amidst the golden rays lies a lurking danger: skin cancer. With its incidence on the rise globally, skin cancer has become a pressing concern, prompting the need for proactive prevention measures. For Skin Cancer Awareness month, our team at OneSkin Dermatology dives into the intricacies of skin cancer prevention, empowering you to safeguard your skin while basking in the sun's warmth.

Understanding Skin Cancer:

   Skin cancer arises from the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells, typically triggered by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. The three primary types of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, with melanoma being the most lethal.

Prevention Strategies:

1. Sunscreen:

   The cornerstone of skin cancer prevention is diligent sunscreen application. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher, offering protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply generously to all exposed skin, including often overlooked areas like ears, lips, and scalp. Reapply every two hours or more frequently if swimming or sweating.

2. Seek Shade:

   When the sun's rays are at their strongest, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., seek refuge in the shade. Shade provides a physical barrier against harmful UV radiation, reducing your skin's exposure and minimizing the risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

3. Sun-Protective Clothing:

   Fashion meets function with sun-protective clothing. Invest in lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and UV-blocking sunglasses to shield your skin and eyes from UV damage. Some clothing brands even offer garments with built-in UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) for added sun defense.

4. Practice Sun-Smart Habits:

   Embrace sun-smart habits to fortify your skin's natural defenses. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses whenever outdoors, and don't forget to protect your lips with a lip balm containing SPF. Keep an eye on the UV index and plan outdoor activities accordingly, opting for early morning or late afternoon outings when UV levels are lower.

5. Regular Skin Checks:

   Vigilance is key in detecting skin cancer early when treatment is most effective. Conduct monthly self-examinations to monitor any changes in moles, freckles, or other skin blemishes. Look for the ABCDEs of melanoma: asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation, diameter larger than a pencil eraser, and evolving size, shape, or color.

6. Professional Skin Screenings:

   Schedule regular skin screenings with a dermatology provider, especially if you have a personal or family history of skin cancer or > 50 moles. Dermatology professionals possess the expertise to identify suspicious lesions and provide timely intervention. We offer preventive skin exams at OneSkin Dermatology in Chambersburg, PA. 

   As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure, and this sentiment rings especially true in the context of skin cancer. By adopting proactive sun safety measures and cultivating a sun-smart lifestyle, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing this potentially life-threatening disease. So, as you step into the sun's embrace, remember to guard your glow and cherish the warmth of the sun while prioritizing the health of your skin.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.