- Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM when the sun is strongest. An extra rule of thumb is the "shadow rule." If your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation is stronger; if your shadow is longer, UV radiation is less intense;
- Do not burn. A person's risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, doubles if he or she had had five or more sunburns at any point in life. Severe burns not only significantly increase your chances of developing skin cancer, but can make you ill. For severe burns, see your doctor;
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths. UV radiation from tanning machines is known to cause cancer in humans. Indoor UV tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, than those who have never tanned indoors. Tanning bed users are also 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. The more time a person has spent tanning indoors, the higher the risk;
- Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Clothing can be your most effective form of sun protection, so make the most of it with densely woven and bright- or dark-colored fabrics, which offer the best defense.
- Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating. One six-ounce bottle of sunscreen should provide two full days of sun protection for prolonged outdoor activity; and
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month. While self-exams shouldn't replace the important annual skin exam performed by a physician, they offer the best chance of detecting the early warning signs of skin cancer. If you notice any change in an existing mole or discover a new one that looks suspicious, see a physician immediately. To find out more about how to perform self-examination and spot a skin cancer, visit www.SkinCancer.org/selfexamination.
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This blog was written by Dania Abdul-Resoul, an intern at avecinia wellness center. Dania is a pre-physical therapy student at Cal State Fresno.
For daily updates on news, information and more on health care and wellness, join avecinia wellness center's facebook page and follow avecinia on twitter . avecinia wellness center is Fresno's premier integrative medicine and wellness center. We combine internal medicine and primary care with health management, weight management, acupuncture, aesthetics (Botox, Juvederm, Radiesse, Obagi and more) and massage therapy for a holistic approach to health. We use a robust electronic health record program and patient web portal to enhance our delivery of services and to help our patients reach their optimal well-being. To learn more, visit www.avecinia.com. If you are looking for a primary care doctor in Fresno or the Central Valley and would like to become a part of the avecinia family, visit our website and click on new patient registration. Let Dr. Unaiza Hayat and/or Ali Kunkel, MPA, PA-C, become your trusted guides. Our Aesthetic, Weight Management, Acupuncture, Health Management and Massage Therapy services do not require us to be your primary care physician. Learn more at www.avecinia.com.We look forward to meeting you!