Melanoma is a common form of skin cancer and may be a fatal condition. The occurrence of melanoma has been linked to the exposure to sun, so reducing the exposure to sun may drastically reduce the chances of developing malignant melanomas. Even though melanomas may be treated if detected in a timely manner, prevention is easier than the treatment.
1. Stay Away From the Sun
The sun has a lot of damaging UVA and UVB rays that penetrate the skin and facilitate the formation of age spots and melanomas.
Stay away from the sun during the times when the sun is the strongest (i.e. from 10 AM to 3 or 4 PM). You may stay in the shade or wear protective hats and clothes.
If you have suspicious looking moles or birth marks, these should be covered at all times while out in the sun. Moles may develop and turn into skin cancer causing malignant melanomas.
2. Wear Sun Block
In addition to staying away from the sun during the critical hours, you should also use additional means of protection. Sun blocks are recommended even when the sun doesn’t seem too strong (i.e. winter).
Get a sun block with a protection factor that is suitable for your skin complexion. Ideally, all people should wear a sun block with SPF 15 or higher. People with fairer complexion (with blonde or red hair) should get a SPF of 30 or higher, if available. Children should get the highest protection factor sun block available, as their skin is more sensitive. There are sun block products created especially for children.
Always put on sun block, at least 15 minutes prior to getting out in the sun. Opt for a waterproof sun block; alternatively, re-apply sun block after being in the water or if you are perspiring. Apply the sun screen every 2 to 3 hours or read the instructions of the product you use. Even if the weather is cloudy, you should still apply sun screen and remember that even while driving, the sun rays can have a damaging effect.
3. No Artificial Tanning
Sun beds and tanning booths are considered just as harmful as natural sun rays; the sun beds or tanning booths may cause melanomas, so you should avoid using these.
Self tanning skin creams or sprays may be used, as these will not hurt the skin.
4. Healthy Diet
A deficient diet rich in processed foods may contribute to the occurrence of cancers. You can stay healthy by eating healthy foods; make sure that you eat at least 3 servings of fruits or vegetables per day. Include lean proteins (found in fish or chicken) in your diet. Antioxidants are essential cancer fighters. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin supplements may also strengthen immunity and prevent health problems.
You should know that cancer is not always preventable. However, taking some preventive measures will diminish the risks of developing a melanoma or other types of cancer.