Spring is well underway and summer isn’t far behind. Are you enjoying the nicer weather? If so, be mindful of a potential risk to your health: skin cancer. Spending more time in the sun as the weather turns warmer can increase your risk for some types of melanoma.

According to a UK study, sun exposure was to blame for 86 percent of melanoma cases. In recognition of Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month, here are three key strategies for preventing skin cancer.

1 – Avoid sunburn however you can

Sunburn is a visible sign that your skin has been damaged by UV rays, and repeated sunburn can lead to some types of melanoma. Avoiding sunburn is crucial to maintaining the health of your skin.

Fortunately, there are many easy steps you can take to avoid sunburn. Start by applying a broad spectrum sunscreen about 30 minutes before you plan to go outside. Accompany your sunscreen with clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. And once you finally go outside, seek the shade when possible.

2 – Don’t use tanning beds

The desire for the “healthy glow” of a fresh tan is understandable, but the damage caused by unneccessary UV rays is hardly an acceptable side effect. Tanning beds do nothing more than expose your skin to harm for no reason. It’s best to avoid them.

3 – Get regular checkups for your skin

Your skin is often neglected during trips to the doctor. It’s easy to take for granted! You may never consider an appointment with the dermatologist as a part of your yearly checkup regimen, but you probably should. Get your skin examined from head to toe and your dermatologist will be able to address any trouble spots as soon as they arise.

 

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