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Skin Cancer Precautions Indianapolis

Skin Cancer Precautions
Before & After Photos

Most cutaneous malignancies can be prevented by following simple precautions. The three most common forms (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma) are all strongly associated with excessive sun damage and heavy sun exposure over time. Sun exposure, suntanning, and tanning beds all deliver ultraviolet irradiation to the skin. In fact, tanning is a natural, biological reaction of skin to protect us against sun burns and sun damage. Unfortunately, with repeated and prolonged sunover time, the skin will accumulate permanent damage.

Advanced sun-damaged skin looks very much like premature aging–changes in pigmentation (blotchy brown freckles and age spots), dryness, areas of redness, thinning of the dermis, loss of elasticity and sagging, wrinkled skin all occur. While people with fair skin who burn easily are at the highest risk for severe sun damage, nobody is immune or even completely protected.

In addition, a family history of cutaneous cancer or having numerous (more than 20 or so) pigmented skin spots (moles) may mean you could be at higher genetic risk for developing some types of skin cancer. Because the damage to your skin associated with photoaging are cumulative and largely permanent, prevention is the best strategy. Precautions to minimize sun damage are recommended. Excessive tanning and sun damage is counter-intuitive to long-term skin health and is not recommended by most medical skin care professionals. Protection from ultraviolet radiation is important to avoid premature photoaging and cancer.

These precautions mean routine use of sunblock products, hats, and protective clothing and eyewear during times of anticipated significant sun exposure. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is a measure of the blocking affect of the product. For most people, SPF of 15 or higher provides adequate protection. However, if you are sensitive to the sun and burn more easily, consider SPF 30 or higher when exposure will be prolonged. It is important to reapply even waterproof sunblock products repeatedly when sweating or swimming. If possible, avoidance of sun exposure during the most intense periods of the day, ie, between 11 am and 3 pm is also helpful. When sunburns do occur, avoidance of further immediate damaging sun exposure and moisturizers are important measures for early healing.