It does not matter whether you have dark or fair skin because you are always at risk for skin cancer. One in five Americans develops this disease during his or her lifetime. Skin cancer is of three types: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
You do not recognize skin cancer by pain, as most of the time, the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma, does not show symptoms. There are a few tips to recognize the signs of skin cancer and to prevent it.
First, experts advise people to spot the signs by performing a monthly self-check to detect moles and other growths on your skin and look for any changes that could indicate skin cancer. You can ask someone to examine your back and other areas which you can’t see or you can use a hand mirror.
You should be aware of a mole that itches, bleeds or changes color; a new rapidly growing mole; a sore that heals and returns; a rough, red scaly area; a red or white bump that bleeds.
You can also take monthly pictures to make it easier to identify changes. Plus, skin cancer is easier to treat when it’s diagnosed early. So if you observe anything itching, changing, or bleeding on your skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist or with your primary doctor.
The second thing that experts advise people to do is to reduce sun damage as much as possible. Moreover, limit your exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun because the sun emits UV rays even during winter and on cloudy days.
Therefore, if you go outside try to protect your skin by seeking shade between 10 a.m. and two p.m., and wear protective clothes, such as long-sleeved shirts, sunglasses, and wide-brimmed hats. Plus, be careful around snow, sand, water and everything that might reflect the sun’s rays toward you.
Also, throw away expired sunscreen or the one that has changed in consistency or color. Do not rely on tanning beds, because the UV light can cause premature skin aging and skin cancer.
Last but not least, visit your doctor on a regular basis to examine your skin and if you have any questions regarding skin cancer.
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