Skin cancer is Singapore’s 8th most common cancer. The onset of skin cancer is widely due to over-exposure to harmful Ultra-Violet (UV) rays. To date, numerous accredited sources have supported the use of sunscreen and sun avoidance to reduce the risks of getting skin cancer. But does applying sunscreen and staying out of the sun really work? Interestingly, some studies have contradicted the validity of such methods. Recent articles have cropped up, questioning the effectiveness of sunscreen and staying out of the sun completely.
So what really helps to reduce your risk of skin cancer?
Here are some useful tips:
- Maintain a healthy diet. Healthy eating is the first line of defense against cancer in any form. Specific foods that help reduce the risk of skin cancer include dark leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, fatty fish and food items rich in anti-oxidants.
- Apply sunscreen, but do not use it as your only preventive method. Recent studies have shown that even SPF50 sunscreens are unable to block out all harmful UV rays. This means that you still have to limit the time you spend in the sun to prevent sunburn.
- Read the label and ingredients listed before purchasing a sunscreen lotion. Sunscreens that contain toxic ingredients such as Oxybenzone should be avoided. Any sunscreen used should also protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Cover up with a thin layer of clothing, sunhat or shade if you are planning to spend longer periods of time in the sun. This can also help to prevent other forms of sun damage such as premature wrinkling.
- Avoid indoor tanning. Research suggests that indoor tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, as compared to those who have never tanned indoors.
It is also important to note that Vitamin D is essential for your health and can even help to reduce the risk of cancer. However, unprotected sun exposure should be restricted to short periods. A general guide would be to limit exposure to approximately 10 to 15 minutes each time for lighter skinned people. While these tips can help to reduce your risk of skin cancer, regular health checks are recommended. Skin specialists will be able to provide professional medical advice.
If you or your loved ones would like to seek professional medical advice and/or to get a skin-health check-up from a qualified dermatologists, call our friendly medical concierge at +65 6679 7867 or email us at email@example.com to arrange an appointment now.