Ways to Prevent Melanoma
With warmer, sunny days upon us, it is vital to be aware of ways to protect yourself from the factors that can cause melanoma. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can be fatal if not detected and treated early. However, there are several ways to prevent melanoma from developing in the first place.
Melanoma is caused by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds is the most common cause of melanoma. Still, other factors can increase your risk of developing this type of skin cancer. These include genetics, age, fair skin type, moles, and weakened immune system.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent melanoma from developing, and Neighbors Pharmacy can help you. Some simple steps you can take are using sunscreen. Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher to all exposed skin, even on cloudy days. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. You should also avoid tanning beds because they emit UV radiation that can increase your risk of developing melanoma.
When you’re outside, stay in the shade as much as possible. Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and hats. Also, protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses with UV protection. Another important practice is to regularly check your skin for any changes, such as new moles, growths, or changes in the appearance of existing moles. If you notice anything suspicious, you can contact your dermatologist.
Some medications can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Talk to us at Neighbor’s Pharmacy about any medicines you’re taking and whether they increase your risk of sunburn.
If you’re concerned about your risk for melanoma, talk to your doctor or a dermatologist. Together, you can develop a plan to protect and keep your skin healthy.