Languid hours spent under the blazing hot sun to get the perfectly tanned body has been a long standing craze among the jet setting crowd. A perfectly toned and tanned body can definitely make heads turn. But few fail to realize the long term and often life threatening dangers brought about by spending excessive periods of time at a tanning booth or under direct sunlight.
Skin cancer incidence or the number of individuals being diagnosed with this deadly form of cancer is rising systematically. An extremely common form of cancer; nearly two million people are being diagnosed with skin melanoma every single year. What is more frightening is the fact that a lot of people don’t even know that they are suffering from this deadly form of cancer until it is too late.
An Insight into Skin Cancer
The skin which is the largest organ of the human body acts a protective sheath that encases the delicate internal organs. The human skin helps to regulate body temperature. It also aids in the removal of a portion of the waste which regularly builds up inside the body.
The skin contains scores of melanin or pigment producing cells, which are referred to as melanocytes. The skin pigment or melanin, acts as a natural barrier, which protects the dermis or the deeper skin layers from the penetrating rays of the sun. Dark skinned people when compared to fair skinned individuals, have a higher proportion of melanin.
Excessive exposure to the harsh UVA and /or UVB rays of the sun can lead to irreversible skin damage and / or malignant growths on the skin caused by abnormal cell division. Typically, skin cancer occurs on the outer layers of the epidermis and can be detected at the earliest stage due to the presence of a well defined tumor. Skin cancer when left untreated can lead to permanent disfigurement or even death.
Tips To Prevent Melanoma Cancer
Melanoma cancer is a preventable form of cancer. Adopting certain precautionary measures can cut down the risk of melanoma cancer significantly. Through this article we will examine some of the preventive steps which can be espoused to prevent skin cancer or melanoma cancer.
Minimize Sun Exposure
Spending too much time under direct sunlight can significantly increase an individual’s risk of getting skin cancer. People who spend long hours under intense direct sunlight, especially between ten in the morning and four in the evening, are actually courting danger. Scientific research has shown that solar radiation levels are highest during this period. If you are outdoorsy sort of person, try to spend time outside in the early morning or late evening, to reduce your chances of melanoma skin cancer.
Another wonderful way to reduce the risk of melanoma skin cancer is to apply generous amounts of sunscreen on the exposed areas of the body. You should apply sunscreen every day despite prevailing weather conditions. Smear a generous dollop of water resistant sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 on your skin.
You can protect your lips by applying a sunscreen lip balm. Although sunscreen can cut down the risk of melanoma skin cancer significantly it cannot completely eradicate the risk of skin cancer- especially if you tend to spend long hours under direct sunlight.
If you have to spend time outdoors, wear multiple layers of protective clothing which can prevent the sun’s rays from penetrating the skin. If you live in the tropical climes a wide brimmed hat is a necessity to shade your face from direct sunlight. Wear long sleeved clothes made from cotton.
Protect your legs by wearing full length jeans or pants. Wear shorts in the evening when the sun’s rays are much milder. Protect your eyes from direct sunlight by wearing polarized sunglasses. For added protection opt for wrap around sun glasses.
Avoid Tanning Beds
The latest craze among celebrities is to spend long hours in a tanning booth. Individuals who spend long periods of time on a tanning bed or inside a tanning booths have an extremely high risk of developing melanoma skin cancer. Medical research has also shown that young people, especially those below thirty, have a very high risk of getting skin cancer if they spend too much time in a tanning booth.
Use UV Blocking Cosmetics
Women must purchase cosmetics which have UV blocking ingredients. Applying cosmetics which have UV blocking ingredients can reduce your chances of getting skin cancer still further.
Make a conscious effort to purchase these special types of cosmetics if you want to reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Did you known that eating certain types of fruits and vegetables can help to prevent skin cancer? Green leafy vegetables and seasonal fruits which are rich in apigenin can actually reduce the risk of getting melanoma skin cancer. Similarly carotenoid rich vegetables and fruits like cantaloupe, oranges and sweet potatoes have natural cancer fighting ingredients in them.
Undergo Self Examination
Make it a point to examine your skin regularly at least once a month. Be aware of the moles and freckles which dot your skin. Use a mirror for a complete self examination. If you suspect a change in size or color of any skin lesion, approach a dermatologist immediately. Similarly, if a mole suddenly becomes itchy approach a skin specialist to rule out the possibility of melanoma skin cancer.
Ideally you should undergo a self examination in a brightly lit room. Along with a self examination, undergo a complete examination of your skin by a dermatologist if you are over forty.
Certain types of multivitamins can also aid in preventing skin cancer. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. This vitamin has powerful antioxidant properties which are known to fight a variety of cancers including skin cancer.
The fat soluble vitamin; vitamin E can reverse cellular damage caused by free radicals. One of the most powerful ways to fight skin cancer is to apply vitamin E directly on the skin. Vitamin A can fight the harmful effects of ultra violet rays which penetrate the skin.