Top 3 Ways to Prevent Basal Cell Carcinoma
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer with basal cell carcinoma being the most frequently diagnosed. This is the most curable type of skin cancer when found early, but it’s also to most preventable. Here are 3 ways to prevent basal cell carcinoma.
1. Wear Sunscreen
With everything we know about skin cancer prevention, it’s no wonder sunscreen is the first thing mentioned. “Wearing sunscreen should be a part of your normal daily routine like brushing your teeth and taking a shower,” explains Dr. Adam Mamelak a board-certified Dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon in Austin, Texas. It’s best to use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) product with an SPF of 30. Apply 30 minutes before going outside and re-apply if you plan on staying outside longer than two hours or if you will be swimming or sweating a lot.
2. Cover up Your Skin
If you spend a good amount of time outside for work or play, cover your skin. Try finding shade or bringing an umbrella with you. “If necessary, wear long sleeves, pants, or a hat,” Dr. Mamelak urges. Fair-skinned people are at a higher risk, so avoid as much UV exposure as possible.
3. Avoid Burns and Tanning
Gone are the days spent oiling our skin and basking in the sun. Tans and burns need to be seen for what they are, skin damage! Every time your skin is exposed to UV light from either a tanning bed or the sun you are increasing your risk of cancer. If you’re looking for a sun-kissed glow, try a bronzing powder or self-tanning lotion. There are many to choose from and the quality has improved over the last decade.
The best thing you can do to avoid basal cell carcinomas is to limit your exposure to UV light. “It is also important to examine your skin every month or so,” says Dr. Mamelak. You want to look for any new moles or marks, as well as changes to existing birthmarks. Seeing your dermatologist every year is also a good idea because finding and removing basal cell carcinoma is the way to cure it in most cases.
Dr. Mamelak treats patients with basal cell carcinoma at Sanova Dermatology and the Austin Mohs Surgery Center. For more information or to schedule a skin care consult, contact us today.