Let's talk about something that affects everyone but is hardly discussed — Skin Cancer. One of the most diagnosed cancers, skin cancer is non-discriminative. It doesn't matter your age, race or location if you expose yourself to UV rays you have a chance of getting skin cancer. Don't take our word for it, the Skin Cancer Foundation has all of the facts to back us up, check out their website if you want specifics.
Now that you heard the bad news, let's talk about the good news. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. With a few precautions, you can significantly decrease your chance of getting skin cancer.
Prevention is Key
While it's pretty hard to avoid the sun (especially if you live in the sunshine state), there are a few steps you can take to reduce your risk of exposure to harmful UV sun rays.
- Always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher. If you’re outdoors for an extended period of time, research suggests you wear a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher that is water-resistant.
- Apply your sunscreen correctly. You need at least 1 ounce of sunscreen for your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. We suggest creams because sprays can apply unevenly.
- Don’t forget to reapply. Every two hours or immediately after getting wet you must put on more sunscreen.
- When outside, seek the shade especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun can do the most damage to your skin.
- Don’t forget your lips, ears, and hands. These areas are exposed to the sun too and should get proper sunscreen coverage.
- Examine your body head-to-toe at least once a month and get checked out by your doctor every year.
If You Can Spot It, You Can Stop It
The only way to 100% guarantee you do not get skin cancer is to lock yourself in a windowless room and never come out. Sometimes, even when you go above and beyond with prevention techniques, you still get skin cancer. The key to a successful treatment is early detection.
The best way to identify possible cancer is to look for it. By that, we mean practicing monthly head-to-toe self-exams. The Skin Cancer Foundation has a wealth of information on self-exams like warning signs of skin cancer, what to look for and even a step by step self-exam. If detected early, almost all skin cancer is curable.
If you’re more of a visual or auditory learner, we’ve got you covered. At Key West Aloe, we believe this topic is so important that we wanted to make sure everyone knows how to prevent and detect skin cancer.
Here’s a great video that explains everything in this blog post.
Here is a print-friendly infographic you can download and share with your friends, family and office.
Together, we can help spread awareness and help save lives.
How are you going to show support for Skin Cancer Awareness Month? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more skin care tips & tricks.