Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer

girl using sunscreen

The numbers may seem staggering – more than 5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. every year. While it’s a frightening number, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer.

Armed with the knowledge that about 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 85 percent of melanoma cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, there are key steps you can take to make sure you’re not one of the statistics.

In the case of skin cancer diagnosis, changing behaviors can change lives, and there’s no better time to learn than Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

The Skin Cancer Foundation has been raising awareness of the disease since 1979 and recommends using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher as one critical step in sun protection.

Sunscreen alone is not enough. The foundation suggests a number of key steps to help prevent the possibility of skin cancer:

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply 1 ounce(2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.

Pautas de Prevención

Desde su creación en 1979, The Skin Cancer Foundation siempre ha recomendado usar un protector solar con un SPF 15, o más, como parte importante de un régimen completo de protección contra el sol. Sin embargo, un protector solar por sí solo no es suficiente. Lea nuestra lista completa de consejos de prevención de cáncer de piel.

  • Buscar la sombra, sobre todo, entre las 10 AM y 4 PM.
  • Evitar las quemaduras.
  • Evitar el bronceado y las camas de bronceado UV.
  • Cubrirse con ropa, incluido un sobrero de ala ancha y gafas de sol anti-rayos UV.
  • Aplicarse, cada día, crema solar de amplio espectro (UVA/UVB) con un factor de protección (SPF) igual o superior a 15. Para pasar varias horas realizando actividades al aire libre, utilizar una crema solar de amplio espectro resistente al agua con un SPF igual o superior a 30..
  • Aplicar 1 onza/28 gramos (2 cucharadas) de crema solar por todo el cuerpo 30 minutos antes de salir. Volver a aplicar cada dos horas, después de nadar o sudar con profusión.
  • Mantener a los recién nacidos alejados del sol. Las cremas solares solo pueden aplicarse a niños de más de 6 meses de vida.
  • Examinar la piel desde la cabeza a los pies cada mes.

Acudir al doctor, cada año, para que realice un chequeo médico profesional de la piel.