We all know how enjoyable being out in the warm sunshine can be. But, while sunlight is necessary to survive, too much of it can cause significant damage to the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer.
The three most frequently occurring forms of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal and squamous cell carcinoma may appear as open sores that either refuse to heal or heal temporarily, only to recur later in the same spot. They can be reddish patches, pink growths, smooth, shiny or rough crusty bumps, scar-like areas, raised growths and moles.
Patients with fair skin and light eyes are more likely to develop skin cancer, however it is important to remember that anyone spending time unprotected in the sun is susceptible.
Although most skin cancer manifests itself later in life, an increasing number of cases have been reported among individuals in their 20’s and 30’s, so you are never too young for a skin examination.
Of course the best way to avoid getting skin cancer in the first place is through preventative measures. Here are some basic helpful safety tips to keep in mind:
Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher on exposed areas of the body daily (winter months included)
Limit sun exposure during the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wear protective clothing such as hats, sunglasses and tight-weave clothing when in the sun