May is the Skin Cancer Awareness month as well as the start of the warm season in the Northern hemisphere so there’s no better time to get your facts straight on how to prevent melanoma skin cancer.
Here are 5 small lifestyle changes that will reduce your melanoma skin cancer risk:
1. Check yourself and your loved one’s skin
Once every three months make sure to check your skin from head to toe. Check your partner’s and your child’s skin as well: some risky spots can appear in places we don’t normally see such as your scalp, back and ears.
2. Use sunscreen with SPF 30
You don’t need to be spending the day at the beach to need protection from sun rays. Make sure to apply sunscreen to the exposed parts of your body such as face, neck and hands. The strength of the sun rays on any given day gives you an indication of how you should protect yourself against the sun. Find out your UV index for the day to get started.
3. Say “no” to tanning beds
The latest research shows that even moderate exposure to tanning beds increases the risk of developing melanoma significantly. This is the reason why Australia has banned them altogether, leading the way for other countries to do so as well.
4. Cover up and seek shade
Limit your exposure to UV rays by wearing hats and cotton shirts that cover your shoulders, chest and back properly. Don’t forget to seek shade especially in the hottest hours – 11am to 4pm.
5. Remember to check your nails
While painted nails are pretty, removing the nail polish from your fingers and toes once a month and checking your nails can be a lifesaver. Skin cancer lesions may also appear under nails, not just on the skin exposed to the sun.