Saving your skin
Keeping Brooklyn Healthy

Saving your skin

Basal cell cancer is a malignant skin tumor involving cancerous changes of basal skin cells. Basal cell skin cancers usually occur on areas of skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation.Basal cell cancer is a malignant skin tumor involving cancerous changes of basal skin cells. Basal cell skin cancers usually occur on areas of skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation.Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States. The two most common types of skin cancerbasal cell and squamous cell carcinomas—are highly curable.

But melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is more dangerous. About 65%–90% of melanomas are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from sunlight, tanning booths and sunlamps. Roughly 9,480 Americans will die of melanoma this year.

Not only does overexposure to UV rays cause cancer, it can also age your skin prematurely and cause eye problems such as cataracts.

This is a picture of squamous cell skin cancer on the hands.This is a picture of squamous cell skin cancer on the hands.So what are the best ways to protect yourself?

First, let’s talk about sunscreen. Believe it or not, it’s a good idea to use sunscreen all year round, not just during the summer or at the beach, because UV rays from the sun can reach you even on cool, cloudy and hazy days.

A half hour before you go outdoors, apply a thick layer of sunscreen of at least SPF 15 to all exposed parts of your skin. Most people apply only a quarter to a half of the sunscreen they need. Follow the “shotglass” rule: apply enough every time to fill a shotglass, which is about one ounce.

Clothing that blocks or screens the harmful rays of the sun (UVA and UVB), in combination with wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen lotions, are all helpful in preventing damage to the eyes and skin.Clothing that blocks or screens the harmful rays of the sun (UVA and UVB), in combination with wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen lotions, are all helpful in preventing damage to the eyes and skin.Make sure you reapply sunscreen if you’re out in the sun for more than two hours, go swimming or do anything that makes you sweat. In fact, if you’re spending the day at the beach, you should apply a total of a quarter to a half of an eight-ounce bottle.

You can also seek shade under an unbrella, tree or other shelter. Wear loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and long pants made with tightly woven fabric. Put on a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears and the back of your neck. And wear wrap-around sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays. 

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