The skin is the largest organ of the human body, with the average adult having around 22 square feet of skin, and it’s also one of the most important parts of the body too, acting as a protective barrier to shield the inner organs and delicate tissues against the elements, changing temperatures, chemicals, pollutants, microorganisms, and so much more.
Your skin is exposed to so much, each and every day, from contaminants in the air as you make your way to work to changing levels of humidity and harmful UV rays from the sun in the sky. It’s only natural, therefore, that people are encouraged to look after their skin as well as they can, and there are a lot of benefits you can get out of a carefully established skincare routine.
Looking after your skin is about much more than preventing wrinkles and dealing with pimples; the right approach to skincare and lifestyle can also drastically reduce your risk of serious health concerns like skin cancer too. Read on for some top tips and proven methods to protect your skin against cancer and other conditions.
Do Your Research
One of the most important lessons we can all learn throughout our lives is that knowledge truly is power. The more you know about something, the better prepared you’ll be to deal with it, and this is especially true when it comes to personal health and wellness; if you know about the risks and hazards facing your skin, you’ll be in a better situation to avoid those risks and stay safe.
So, take some time and do your research to learn more about skin cancer and other conditions, as you might be surprised what you can find. Many people know that UV rays from the sun or tanning salons may cause skin cancer, for instance, but fewer people are aware that the 9/11 attacks actually caused cancer in many victims or the fact that people with blue eyes are more likely to get skin cancer too.
Of course, given the fact that the majority of skin cancers are caused by excessive exposure to UV light, it makes sense that the number one to defend your skin is to make regular and repeated use of sunscreen. This is especially important in the summer months when you’re on vacation or heading to the beach, but it can be important on other sunny days throughout the entire year, depending on where you live.
Sunscreen is specially designed to help protect your skin against the sun’s UV rays, either blocking or absorbing the radiation in order to prevent it from penetrating the skin and doing serious, long-lasting damage. It’s absolutely vital to make use of sunscreen whenever you go out on sunny days or if you plan on spending long periods of time in the sun.
Be Careful with Tanning
Following on from the previous point, it’s important for everyone to develop a stronger understanding of suntans and know the risks they can bring. Many people like the idea of building up a tan and will happily sunbathe for hours on end in order to alter their physical appearance, but the truth is that a tan is actually a defense mechanism of your body to try and deal with the damage that UV rays can do.
When you spend too much time in the sun, cells in your body called melanocytes start to produce excessive levels of a pigment called melanin, which works to absorb the UV radiation and protect the skin. It also leads to the skin getting a darker appearance that we know as a tan. In short, a tan may look attractive to some, but it’s actually a sign that your body has been put under intense pressure, so try to keep your sunbathing sessions to a minimum and definitely avoid tanning salons to stay safe.
It’s always important to apply sunscreen to any exposed areas of your skin when you go outside on sunny days, but another way in which you can shield your skin against the sun is to simply cover it up with clothing and accessories too. While some radiation can still pass through your clothes, T-shirts, shorts, hats, and sunglasses will still offer some level of protection.
These items serve as physical barriers between your skin and the sun, bouncing light away and preventing the UV rays from penetrating through to your skin. It’s even possible nowadays to find certain items of clothing and accessories that have UV protection ratings, letting you know exactly how much protection they can provide to your body.
Adjust Your Diet
Many people know that a healthy diet can assist with reducing your risks of various types of cancer and other health conditions, like heart disease, but it’s less widely known that a good diet can also assist with reducing the risk of melanoma too. With the right foods added to your daily meals, your body can be better defended against UV damage.
This is all because of how UV radiation works. It actually generates free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules, which then go on to do damage to your skin. Antioxidants can help to reduce the fight back against free radicals, and there are plenty of foods out there that are particularly high in antioxidants, such as carrots, squash, apricots, tomatoes, watermelon, flaxseed, nuts, fish, and green tea too.
These are just some of the ways in which you can help to keep your skin safe against radiation and the other threats that may trigger skin cancers too. By adjusting your diet, making liberal use of sunscreen, and having a sensible and safe approach to issues like tanning and sunbathing, you can put yourself in a much stronger position to keep your skin protected and intact. It’s also recommended to visit a dermatologist on an annual basis for a check-up and to get medical attention if you notice any possible signs of skin cancer like unexplained lumps or inflamed moles.
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