Sunlight – Friend or Foe
Almost everyone loves sunlight! We enjoy the warming sensation of the rays of the sun of our skin, especially the winter. But how safe is it really for us to be exposed to the sun’s rays? Don’t get me wrong. Sunshine is essential for our overall health and well-being; however, it is unhealthy for us to be exposed to the rays of the sun without protection. If our exposure to strong sun rays are constant, we can suffer dangerous consequences. The sun emits ultraviolet in three forms and all three forms can affect us negatively.
|Exposure to UVA can result in the formation of wrinkles on the skin and discoloration of the skin.|
|Exposure to UVB can result in damages to protein in the skin causing severe sunburn or skin cancer.|
|Exposure to UVC can result in mutations in our DNA.|
Skin Cancer – On the Rise in Young People
According to this article, skin cancer is definitely on the rise. A new research from the Mayo Clinic confirmed this. Not only did this research confirm this but it also confirmed that this disease is on the rise especially among younger people. These are the ones who spend a lot of time outside, enjoying the sun. In addition, this research also shows that the most deadly type of skin cancer, melanoma, has also drastically increased over the years and is most commonly found among young women. The fact is that the majority of young people do not consider the consequences of being in the sun; however, as mentioned above, being in the sun unprotected and constantly, can affect you harmfully.
Self-Examination of the Skin – A Life Saver
It is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation that a head-to-toe self-examination is conducted by everyone so that any new or changing lesions that may be precancerous or cancerous is detected and further diagnosed. Did you know that skin cancers that are found early and removed are almost always curable? This is why self-examination is so important. If there are any changes in your skin, you will notice it during a self-examination of your skin and can get it further checked out. It is advisable to see a dermatologist before starting your monthly self-examination. This way you can identify existing spots, moles or freckles on your body. These would be used as the basis for your self-examination. Your first few self-examinations might take 15 – 30 minutes; however, as you get accustomed to the process, a normal self-examination should not take longer than 10 minutes. Ten minutes per month can turn out to be life-saving so do not underestimate it. In addition, you can quickly upload images of your skin check to get expert advice if you are unsure.
Skin Cancer Considerations – The Top Three
Below are the top three things that you need to be considerate of when dealing with skin cancer. .
1. Determine if you have any personal risk factors
There is a reason why some people are more prone to skin cancer and others are not. This is because of their personal risk factors. Some people have fairer skin than others. Some have a history of skin cancer in the family. Some have weaker immune systems than others. Due to these factors and others, these people are more likely to get skin cancer.
2. Focus also on areas not regularly exposed to the sun
When conducting a skin-examination, many people fail to check areas that are not regularly exposed to the sun such as the genital area, the soles of the feet and in between the toes.
3. Take any change in the skin seriously
Any change in the skin should be taken seriously until it has been identified as not being serious. This means that any new moles or skin discolorations or any moles that changed should be checked out.
How to conduct a skin self-examination
As mentioned earlier, you should check your skin at least once per month and after taking a shower. You will need a well-lit room with a full-length mirror as well as a hand-held mirror to check places that are hard to see. The Skin Cancer Foundation has provided step-by-step instructions with images on how to examine your skin. These are as follows:
|Face the mirror and check your face, neck, chest, ears and belly. For women, lift your breasts and check underneath. Don’t forget to check your underarms, arms and palms.|
|Sit down and check the bottom half of your body – thighs, shins, feet and toes. Use a mirror to see those places that are not easily visible.|
|Use the hand mirror to check the back of your body including your back, buttocks and your scalp. You can use the hand mirror in combination with a wall mirror for easier viewing.|