What is Skin Cancer?
You may not know this, but skin cancer is the most common type of cancer that is diagnosed in the United States. Skin cancer is commonly accepted to be an abnormal growth of skin cells. It usually begins to develop on areas of an individual's skin that has been exposed to the sun's harmful rays.
There are a variety of different types of skin cancer that are commonly diagnosed including, basal and squamous cell carcinoma, actinic keratoses, and melanoma. Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. Each of the different types of skin cancer displays different symptoms, varying from pink patches of skin, to dark spots that suddenly appear on skin that has been exposed to the sun.
Preventing Skin Cancer
The primary way of preventing skin cancer is to protect your skin from the potentially harmful ultraviolet rays that are emitted by the sun. A good way to do this is by seeking shade when the sun's rays are the most powerful, generally between 10 am and 2 pm. Protective clothing is a must if it is necessary that you are out when the sun's rays are at their strongest. Hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved shirts are the ideal apparel to protect you. The most important thing that you can do to protect yourself from skin cancer is to apply sunscreen or sunblock regularly, and to avoid tanning beds. This is your most effective means of protecting against skin cancer and doing this will also help to combat the aging effects that the sun has on your skin, like wrinkles, blotches, and crow's feet.
The Most Effective Sunscreen
Every time that you plan to be outside for extended periods of time, especially during the sun's most powerful hours as mentioned above, then you should be applying sunscreen and reapplying it at least every 2 hours. It is important to always use a sunscreen that protects against a broad spectrum of light as this protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. You should aim to use a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher to ensure that you have maximum protection. Finally, you should ensure that your sunscreen is water resistant, and reapplied often, as, despite manufacturer's claims, there is really no sunscreen that is waterproof or sweatproof.
Detecting Skin Cancer
When it is detected early, skin cancer is often treatable and has extremely high rates of survival. That is why you should always check your skin regularly, and if there is something that seems out of place, then arrange an appointment with Dermatology Consultants of Frisco and have them check it. Remember, if there is something that you are not sure about, something that does not look right, Dermatologist Consultants of Frisco can help put your mind at ease.
Dermatology Consultants of Frisco, your Frisco dermatologists, offers comprehensive cosmetic services to all of our patients. To discuss your skin needs or to check a questionable spot on your skin, call our office for a consultation today.