Being outdoors during warmer months often reminds people to take better care of their skin, especially if there is a concern that skin cancer may develop. Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, accounting for over half of all cancer diagnoses.
At this point, you may be wondering how you can know if you may be prone to getting some type of skin cancer, or not? While it is impossible to say for sure if you will get skin cancer, there are some indicators and risk factors that you may be susceptible to developing this illness in the future.
Identifying the Risk Factors Associated with Skin Cancer
If you have any of the following risk factors, you may be more prone to getting skin cancer. However, you also have the chance to reduce your chances by taking better care of your skin now.
History of excessive sunbathing or use of tanning booths that exposed you to harmful Ultraviolet rays.
Family members or blood kin who have developed skin cancers or been treated for unusual skin discolorations or moles.
Naturally pale complexion combined with lighter hair colors (red, blonde) that predispose you to lack of skin pigmentation.
Getting frequent sunburns as a young person or not using protection for skin when playing outdoors.
Exposure to skin cancer causing chemicals at a job site, such as creosote, coal tar, roof pitch, radium, asbestos, or arsenic.
Any previous cases of unusual mole growth or skin cancer cells found on your body and removed.
While you may be genetically more apt to getting skin cancer at some point in the future, you can take steps now to reduce your risk of this common problem.
Be sure to use a daily SPF of at least 15 before heading outside for any reason, especially on your face, shoulders, hands and arms.
Do a self-check at least once a month, or have a friend or your spouse check your back and other areas for signs of skin cancer. Visit a dermatologist at least once a year, or have your family physician do a physical to check you for any unusual marks or moles. If you notice anything that has changed about a mole or spot on your skin, let your doctor know right away.
Reduce your exposure to the outdoors by wearing light colored clothing that covers your body. Avoid tanning salons and sunbathing activities, instead opt for short outdoor sessions in the shade to give you a boost. Wear a wide brimmed hat when you do need to be outdoors to protect the delicate skin on your face. Hydrate your skin often and avoid getting sunburns.
By taking the time to care for your skin, you may be able to prevent many forms of skin cancer.