Cancer in any form is always scary. Certain forms of cancer are more common in certain populations, while skin cancer can affect anybody at any age.
Skin cancer can often appear quickly, but the skin damage that was done to cause the cancer probably happened a while ago and was compounded over time. The most common cause of skin cancer is chronic overexposure to the rays of the sun and can develop on any part of your body.
Our AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne team explains more about avoiding skin cancer below, so read on to learn more.
Why Does the Sun Cause Skin Cancer to Develop?
While sun exposure is important for maintaining appropriate vitamin D levels in the body, too much of it is never a good thing. That’s because the rays of the sun emit UV, or ultraviolet, light. This light is damaging to our skin and even permanently damages your skin’s DNA. You have probably gotten at least one sunburn in your life, and you know how unpleasant they are!
Your skin will turn red, become inflamed and will probably be really sensitive to the touch or even painful. As your burn subsides and the redness goes away, your skin might outwardly appear to heal, but the damage has been done below the surface. Over time, this constant damage to your cells’ DNA can lead to skin issues like premature wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer.
Changes to Your Skin to Be Aware Of
- A new a growth or sore that won’t heal
- A changing mole
- Skin itchiness
- The appearance of a lump under the skin
How Can I Reduce My Risk of Skin Cancer?
Like we said earlier, anyone can develop skin cancer, but there are certain populations of people who need to be more aware of changes to their skin. If you have fair skin, multiple moles on your body or a family history of skin cancer, you need to be extra cautious about your sun exposure.
Try to limit your direct exposure to the sun whenever possible, and find a shady spot when you are outside. You should also always have on a layer of sunscreen, even if you are sitting in the shade. Sunscreen blocks those harmful UV rays from coming into contact with your skin. If you do ever notice a change to your skin, get it evaluated immediately. The quicker you can catch skin cancer, the better chance you have of a full recovery.
How to Treat Sunburned Skin
- Apply a cool, wet cloth to the skin.
- Apply aloe gel or a moisturizing lotion.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Stay out of the sun while the burn heals.
Sun safety is crucial throughout your life. If you notice a change to your skin, come see us at AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne.