8 tips to prevent skin cancer in Australia
Being in the sun too often can lead to skin cancer, which is why it’s critical to take steps to prevent skin cancer. Australia has some of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. One person dies from skin cancer every three hours. If you suspect you may have skin cancer, you should consult an expert at a skin cancer clinic as soon as possible.
Here are some tips from experts to lower your risk for skin cancer and live a healthier life.
1. Wear sunscreen – it is a must for any Australian
Applying sunscreen is one of the most effective ways to prevent skin cancer. But you must be diligent about wearing sunscreen. You should apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside – even if you are only planning to stay out for a few minutes! And reapply it every two hours while in the sun. Make sure your skin is clean when applying sunscreen, and use at least SPF30.
2. Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps to prevent skin cancer
Artificial tanning using sun lamps and tanning beds are proven skin cancer risks. The rays emitted from tanning beds are the same as those of the sun, and skin damage can occur in less time than it takes to get a base tan.
- Use sunscreen when using these types of devices
- Limit use to no more than 30 minutes per session
- Better still – avoid indoor tanning altogether
3. Use a hat, sunglasses, and clothing that covers your skin when outdoors
Whenever you go out during the day, you should protect your skin from harmful UV rays by wearing a hat, sunglasses and appropriate clothing.
- Wear hats that offer broad coverage of the face, ears and neck
- Use UPF rated clothing with sleeves and pant legs for protection against skin cancer
- Sun protective fabrics can help protect sensitive skin from UV exposure
4. Check the UV index before you go outside to make sure you’re not going to be exposed too long
This is an easy thing to do. Check the UV index on a skin cancer clinic website or mobile app.
- Stay in the shade whenever possible
- Be aware of your local weather forecast and follow any warnings about when you should avoid going outside for extended periods
Keep your kids safe by making sure they wear sunscreen and hats as well. Get an annual checkup with a dermatologist or general practitioner if you have fair skin or spend time outdoors often.
5. Stay out of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm
This is the time when the sun’s rays are at their most harmful.
Make sure your skin is well protected when you’re in the sun. If you must go out – you need to use sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 and make sure it has broad-spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays. You should also be using lip balm, sunglasses, hats and other clothing items that protect your skin.
6. Check for skin cancer regularly – make sure to do this every 3 months
You can self-check for skin cancer by looking at your skin and making sure there are no unusual changes. Things to be on the lookout for include:
- skin lesions
- skin changes (for example, if a mole becomes asymmetrical or increases in size)
- skin sores that won’t heal
- and anything else unusual
If you find anything that looks out of the ordinary, go to a skin cancer clinic to get it checked out by an experienced skin specialist. Even if it seems harmless, skin cancers are best caught early on when they’re easier to treat.
7. Know what type of skin you have (sensitive, dry, oily)
Knowing the type of skin you have is helpful because it ensures that you use skin products that are right for your skin type. For example, if you have oily skin, then it’s likely that the skincare product you use has an oil-free formula to prevent breakouts.
The skin type most susceptible to UV damage is pale skin and skin with dark spots or freckles.
8. If you see any suspicious spots on your skin that could be cancerous growths – don’t hesitate to visit your dermatologist
Keep all appointments with doctors so they can keep track of any potential problems early on before they grow worse! Make sure you check yourself regularly and anyone else in the family who lives there with you. Early detection of skin cancer can lead to effective treatment and a better prognosis.
Although skin cancer is not the most common form of cancer, it is advisable to look out for any odd changes or growths on your skin. If you find anything suspicious or have any doubts, consult a doctor.