Even the thought that you may be suffering from a cancer is scary. Prevention is better than cure. If you can prevent yourself from getting a serious skin condition then there is nothing like it.Do not be careless about sun exposure, which is one of the main causes of getting skin cancer. Getting your daily dose of sun is a good thing. But getting sun burnt only increases your chances of getting skin cancer.The UV rays of the sun damage your skin to the extent that your skin cells become abnormal and easily susceptible to cancer.

Here is a list of people whose chances of getting skin cancer are more:

  • Pale skinned people with lot of sun exposure
  • People with lots of moles
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Weak immune system
  • Albino skinned people, that is people with minimal melanin
  • People suffering from Vitiligo, that is having patches of skin with no melanin

Now that we know who are at greater risk of developing skin cancer let us move on to the protection aspect.

Here’s how we can protect ourselves from damage to our skin that leads to cancer:

  1. Cover up-Cover yourself up totally when you get into the sun. Use caps, neck scarfs, sun glasses, baggy t-shirts etc… Make sure that the material of the outfits is tightly woven so as to prevent the sun from reaching your skin.
  2. Sun screen-Sun screen only provides you additional protection from the precautions that you have already taken. As a matter of fact, clothes that you wear provide more protection that sun screen itself.Select a sun screen that has a high SPF. The higher the SPF, the more protection you will get. So if you are pale skinned, do not settle for an SPF lesser than 30.Slather on to the exposed areas of skin and repeat the application every 2 hours.And remember sunscreen is not an alternative to covering up or avoiding the sun.
  3. Sunscreens kept beyond the shelf life will not work, so toss them away and purchase a good one with an SPF greater than 15.
  4. Artificial Tanning-A trip to the tanning parlor is as harmful as exposing your skin to the direct UV rays of the sun. So keep away from the sun beds and sun-ray lamps unless you want to increase your chances of developing skin cancer.
  5. Winter and cool weather-Skin cancer is caused not by the heat of the sun but by the harmful UV rays of the sun that are present even in the winters. So even if you are heading out in winter, do not forget to slather on sun screen on all exposed areas of the skin and cover up.
  6. Water-You can get burnt even if you are in the pool or deep sea diving. As a matter of fact, wet clothes allow more UV rays to pass through as compared to dry ones.
  7. Reflection-You not only need to protect yourself from direct sunlight but also from light that gets reflected indirectly. You can get hit indirectly by sun light that gets reflected from snow, sand or even concrete.

Note: We get most of our Vitamin D through sun exposure. Just because it is mentioned that we have to protect ourselves at all times from the sun, we completely abstain from it.Enjoy the sun but in moderation. Take precautions but do expose yourself to the early morning sun’s rays at least twice a month for your monthly quota of Vitamin D.

Enjoy the sun but stay protected.