Skin Cancer Prevention Tips
Most skin cancer can be prevented by practicing sun protection,
according to numerous research studies. Research also shows that not
only does sun protection reduce one’s risk of developing skin
cancer; sun protection also may decrease the likelihood of
Even if you have spent a lot of time in the sun or developed skin
cancer, it’s never too late to begin protecting your skin. The
American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) recommends that everyone
protect their skin by following these sun protection practices:
Avoid deliberate tanning.
Lying in the sun may feel good, but the end result is
premature aging (wrinkles, blotchiness, and sagging skin) as well as
a 1 in 5 chance of developing skin cancer. Tanning beds and sunlamps
are just as dangerous because they, too, emit enough UV radiation to
cause premature aging and skin cancer. If you like the look of a
tan, consider using a sunless self-tanning product. These products
do not protect skin from the sun, so a sunscreen should be used.
D safely through a healthy diet that includes vitamin supplements.
Don’t seek the sun.
apply sunscreen to all exposed skin every day.
The sunscreen should have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least
30 and be broad-spectrum (provides protection from ultraviolet A
(UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays).
worldwide agree that the Australians’ use of the word “slop!”
accurately describes how sunscreen should be used. Most people do
not apply enough sunscreen to help protect against harmful
ultraviolet (UV) radiation. One ounce, enough to fill a shot glass,
is considered by the Academy to be the amount needed to cover the
exposed areas of the body properly. So when applying sunscreen,
remember to “slop!” it on.
Here are a few
Don’t forget your
ears, nose, neck, hands, and toes. Many skin cancers develop in
these areas. Protect your lips, another high-risk area, with lip
balm that offers sun protection with an SPF of 30 or higher.
not be used to prolong sun exposure. Some UV light gets through
be applied to dry skin 15-30 minutes before going outdoors, and
every two hours.
Be sure to reapply
sunscreen after being in water or sweating.
Sunscreen does not
make sunbathing safe.
protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved
shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, where possible.
is what Australians call the “slip!” and “slap!” of sun
protection. When you will be out in the sun, be sure to slip on
protective clothing, such as a shirt, and slap on a wide-brimmed
hat. Here’s why:
protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. The tighter the
weave, the more sun protection provided. In fact, clothing plays
such an important role in sun protection that clothing designed
specifically to protect against the sun as well as laundry
additives created to boost clothing’s protective function are
available. Your dermatologist may be able to provide you with
more information about these products.
hat shades your face and neck from the sun’s rays. Wide-brimmed
means the brim circles the entire hat and shades both the face
rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
caution near water, snow, and sand as they reflect the damaging
rays of the sun.
This can increase your risk chance of sunburn.
birthday suit on your birthday.
If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your
skin, see a dermatologist. Skin cancer is very treatable when
More Good Reasons
to Practice Sun Protection
Aside from skin cancer, the sun’s UV rays also cause:
Signs of premature aging include wrinkles, mottled skin, and loss
of skin’s firmness.
(weakening of the body’s ability to protect itself from cancer and
and macular degeneration:
Macular degeneration, for which there is no cure, is the leading
cause of blindness in people aged 65 and older.
content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
Australia has the highest
incidence of skin cancer in the world. To make it easy
for Australians to remember how to protect their skin,
The Cancer Council Victoria coined this catchy slogan:
Slip! Slop! Slap!
Maybe it can help you remember the essentials of sun
protection. Here’s what it means:
Slip! – Slip on a shirt.
Slop! – Slop on sunscreen.
Slap! – Slap on a wide-brimmed hat.
Council Victoria (Australia) is the registered owner of
Slip! Slop! Slap!®