There is more to preventing skin cancer than just wearing sunscreen every time you should. There are lots of factors that can affect the risk of getting cancer – skin tone, habits from the past and family history are just some of the factors that we often don’t think about.
We have gathered 6 things that dermatologist would like us to know about the skin cancer:
You should stop tanning indoors
Did you know that around 420,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States are linked to indoor tanning every year? Yes, you have read it right – 420,000 cases every year! We hope that you have stopped using tanning beds, but still you should tell your dermatologist if you have used tanning bed in the past.
If you have lots of moles, the risk of cancer increases
Experts say that the more moles you have, the greater the chance you will get skin cancer. According to a research, around 50 percent of all melanomas develop in already existing moles. However, you should know that there are two types of moles – sun spots and atypical moles. Dermatologists say that every person that has more than 10 atypical moles should get checked regularly. These persons are more likely to get skin cancer than others.
Check your family history for melanoma
Recent studies have shown that if you have a close relative who has had melanoma, the chances that you will get it rise for about 50 percent. Dermatologists suggest that everyone should get checked at least once per year, while the people who have a close relative that has had melanoma, should visit the doctor at least once in six months.
If you got sunburnt a lot in the past, you’re also at risk
One of the facts that lots of people don’t know is that if you got sunburnt with blisters just once in your past, the risk of melanoma doubles! The good news is that it is never too late to start applying sun-safe practices like sunscreen. Dermatologists say that you can start whenever you want with sunscreen and to be sure to make it your habit.
If you have fair skin, you should get checked at least twice a year
According to dermatologists, people who have fair skin, light hair and light eyes have much less of the protective pigment, called melanin in their skin and they can get sunburnt more easily than others. If you have fit in this description, be sure to get checked at least once in a six months.
Color of the skin doesn’t matter
First thing you need to know is that the melanoma does not differentiate the skin color. However, people that have darker skin are more protected (melanin provides better protection from the sun with factor of 13.4, while people with white skin have factor of only 3.4). Furthermore, official data show that people with darker skin have five-year survival rate of only 75 percent, while people with white skin have 93 percent five-year survival rate, which is much higher.