Bad Habits Lead to Skin Cancer, Doctor Says

Bad Habits Lead to Skin Cancer, Doctor Says

New cases of skin cancer in the millions by 2022. skin cancer is the number 1 cancer in the US† There are many different types of skin cancer. The most common are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas and then melanoma. In 2022, about 7,650 people are expected to die from melanoma. About 2,000 people in the US die from basal and squamous cell cancers each year.

These types of skin cancer are usually curable if detected early. However, they can be fatal if left untreated.

Bad habits increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Read on to find out more – and to ensure your health and that of others, don’t miss this one Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID

1

Spending time in the sun without sunscreen

a woman's sun burned back

a woman’s sun burned back

The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. UV radiation is the main cause of skin cancer.

2

Using tanning beds or sun lamps

Light therapy for women

Light therapy for women

Tanning indoors is particularly dangerous because it exposes you to high levels of UV radiation. Just one indoor tanning session can increase the risk of developing melanoma by 20 percent.

3

Not wearing enough clothes to protect your skin from the sun’s rays

Hiker young woman dressed in floral shirt taking a selfie photo outdoors

Hiker young woman dressed in floral shirt taking a selfie photo outdoors

Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs, and a wide-brimmed hat to shield your face, neck, and ears.

4

Being Careless When Using Sunscreen

woman puts sunscreen on the beach for protection

woman puts sunscreen on the beach for protection

The use of a broad spectrum sunscreen is recommended, with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen every 2 hours, more often if you sweat or swim.

5

Being in the sun between peak times from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

woman applying sunscreen standing outside in urban location during sunny weather

woman applying sunscreen standing outside in urban location during sunny weather

The sun’s rays are strongest during these hours, so it’s best to stay in the shade during this time.

6

Burned by the sun

female customer choosing sunscreen at the pharmacy

female customer choosing sunscreen at the pharmacy

A severe sunburn can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Sunburns in children are particularly dangerous because they can lead to melanoma later in life.

7

Not checking your skin regularly

Girl with moles on the neck

Girl with moles on the neck

If you don’t check your skin regularly, you are more likely to miss early signs of skin cancer. Be sure to do a self-examination at least once a month. If you have moles or other changes in your skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist right away.

8

Continue to smoke

Forbidden to smoke

No smoking “sign”

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of skin cancer because it weakens your immune system and damages the DNA in your skin cells. If you smoke, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your skin and your health.

9

Having a family history of skin cancer

happy family spending time together

happy family spending time together

If you have a parent or sibling who has had skin cancer, you are at increased risk for the disease. This is not a bad habit! It’s just the way it is. That’s why it’s so important to do regular self-exams and see a dermatologist regularly for screenings.

10

Exposure to certain chemicals

chemical plant near water

chemical plant near water

Some chemicals, such as arsenic and coal tar, can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

These bad habits put you at increased risk of developing skin cancer. However, there are things you can do to reduce your risk. Be sure to wear sunscreen, stay out of the sun during peak times, and check your skin regularly for changes. If you have a family history of skin cancer, you should see a dermatologist regularly for screening. And if you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your skin – and your health! And to protect your life and the lives of others, do not visit any of these 35 places you are most likely to get COVID

Gethin Williams M.D. Ph.D. is the medical director of Image and intervention specialists

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