One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. And the number of new melanoma cases diagnosed annually has increased by 53 percent in the past decade (2008 – 2018).
Even though most people are aware that exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays is detrimental to their health, many fail to put preventive measures in place. Don’t wait until you’re a statistic; stay abreast of tips and techniques for protecting yourself from skin cancer.
Many know that regularly slathering yourself in sunscreen is a great step in the right direction, especially when you apply one of at least 15 SPF (and reapply after sweating or going in the water).
But as summer approaches and brisk days turn into sweltering scorchers, it wouldn’t hurt to have a few other tips in our arsenals.
Sometimes, you must nurture your health from the inside out. According to a study conducted by Australian researchers, nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, has been found to significantly reduce the incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancers among those who have had a prior incidence of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Another study by American Health and Drug Benefits pinpointed the risk reduction of around 23 percent for those predisposed to skin cancer.
How does it work? This unique supplement strengthens DNA repair following sun damage. The jury is still out on whether dermatologists will recommend this prevention measure to their patients, but it doesn’t hurt to inquire about it. Instead of popping a vitamin and calling it a day, utilize supplements like these while taking a multidisciplinary approach to sun protection.
On the other hand, while adding some supplements to your regimen may be beneficial, eliminating or modifying others may reduce your sun sensitivity.
According to Prevention, the antibiotic doxycycline, a class of diuretics called thiazides, and certain antifungal drugs such as “VFend,” can make the skin hypersensitive to the sun’s rays. Always speak to your doctor to discuss your concerns about your current medications.
Tanning beds are taboo for more reasons than one. They’ve fooled many under the guise of being safer than the sun itself; however, tanning bed lamps emit both UVA and UVB rays, both of which pose a risk for long-term skin damage. They should be avoided at all costs. If you’re looking for a sun-kissed tan, opt for a lotion or spray tan instead, which won’t pose such health hazards.
When it comes to the great outdoors, dressing for the occasion is essential. You may apply SPF from head to toe, but if you haven’t topped off one of the most exposed regions of the body – the scalp, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Even if cloaked with hair, the scalp is susceptible to damage from the sun. You can limit your exposure by wearing a broad-rim hat; baseball hats cover the scalp but neglect the ears, a frequent target of skin cancer. Choose one crafted from a tightly-woven fabric that will let less light pass through, and if possible top off with a pair of wraparound UV protection sunglasses for extra defense.
There are countless other ways to limit your sun exposure, so educate yourself now to ensure a long, healthy life. In addition to being experts in a variety of cutting-edge hair restoration techniques, Northwest Hair Restoration offers a host of superior medical-grade sun protection products to both rejuvenate and protect the skin. For more information, call (253) 572-2949.