The statistics are frightening; two out of three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70. Considering that a major risk factor for development of skin cancer is overexposure to the sun, you have to take steps to protect yourself during summer. Summer is also the time of the year when everyone is interested in outdoor activities such as swimming. These activities expose even more of your skin to the sun, so protection is paramount. If you want to enjoy your summer and not worry about skin cancer, here are some tips to help you do just that.
Use sufficient sunscreen
Sunburns are known to cause 95% of all melanomas, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. This is a compelling reason to take your sunscreen seriously and guard against sunburn. Apply approximately two tablespoons of sunscreen to all exposed skin 30 minutes before engaging in any outdoor activity. After this, reapply the same amount every 2 hours in the sun to achieve the maximum effect. It's particularly important when you are swimming or sweating profusely since such activities get rid of the sunscreen. Also, opt for a broad spectrum sunscreen that will protect you against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember to use sunscreen even on cloudy days, since cloud cover doesn't offer protection against UV rays.
Get regular screenings and examinations
Skin cancer often develops slowly and responds very well to treatment when caught in its early stages. It is for this reason that regular check-ups are invaluable in the long run. Schedule yearly screening with a skin cancer clinic of your choice. Additionally, you should always be aware of the nature of your skin and seek a doctor's attention whenever anything abnormal crops up. Perform monthly self-examinations on every accessible inch of skin. Look for any changing, new or unusual growths and discolouration on your skin as they may be early manifestations of skin cancer.
Seek shade and cover up
The sun's UV rays are the strongest between 10 a.m and 4 p.m. During this time frame, wear tightly woven clothes to protect your skin or look for shaded areas. Additionally, obtain accessories such as wide-brimmed hats and wrap-around sunglasses that offer maximum protection against sunlight. When going swimming, select swimwear that covers a greater area of your skin, especially if you're fair-skinned or have some other risk factors such as old age.