What Is Skin Cancer? Skin cancer occurs when abnormal skin cells form, which is usually caused from the sun’s strong ultraviolet (UV) rays. Although there are three types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma is the most common. Fortunately, if detected early, skin cancer is also one of the most treatable cancers in the United States. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention at the first sign of skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Signs
- Skin spot borders are uneven or asymmetrical
- Skin spot contains multiple colors or shades of color
- A new mole appears
- Skin spot changes in texture, shape or size
Is Sunscreen the Only Way to Reduce My Risk of Skin Cancer?Sunscreen is certainly the best way to protect against skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30—even on cloudy days. However, there are other ways to stay protected in the sun besides sunscreen.
Reduce Your Risk of Skin Cancer
- Avoid the sun during midday, when the rays are the most intense.
- Wear sunglasses that have UVA/UVB protection.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
- Wear loose, light-colored clothing with sleeves.
- Seek shade when possible.
- Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, or more often if swimming or sweating.
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the scalp, ears, eyelids, hands and feet.