How to reduce your risk of skin cancer

Are you among the 1 in 8 adults, or 1 in 5 teenagers who are sunburnt on an average summer weekend? Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and sunburn causes 95% of them. So why aren’t we taking better care of our skin?

According to the home doctor experts at House Call Doctor, here are 4 ways to reduce your risk of skin cancer.

  1. Seek the shade

Seek the shade, especially between 10 am and 4 pm. Don’t be fooled by the sun’s heat and light, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the major cause of skin cancer and you can’t see or feel it. You can check the UV for your location on the SunSmart app or on the Bureau of Meteorology website.

  1. Slip slop slap

Make sure to slip on clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Sunscreen is a must, and SPF 30 or higher is the best way to go. A rule of thumb is to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors and then every 2 hours afterwards. Wearing a hat is also important to protect your face, head, neck and ears. And don’t forget to slide on those sunglasses to protect yours eyes!

  1. Avoid tanning

We all want a tan, but unfortunately there is no such thing as a ‘healthy tan’. Tanning is a sign that you have been exposed to enough UV radiation to damage your skin. And worst of all, it increases your risk of skin cancer. Maybe it’s time to switch to a fake tan?

  1. Regular skin checks

It is important to see your dermatologist at least once a year. However, you can also keep an eye on your skin at home. Check for any new spots or changes in the shape, colour or size of existing spots. If you notice anything unusual, visit your doctor as soon as possible for early treatment.