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Looking After Your Skin as You Age

  • Category: General Health
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: ATRIO Health Plans
Looking After Your Skin as You Age

Keeping Your Skin Healthy as You Age

Skin cancer is the most commonly developed type of cancer in the United States. And like many other chronic health conditions, age is one of the most prevalent risk factors when it comes to developing skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Association, this is most likely due to a buildup of sun exposure over time.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can minimize your risk and keep your skin happy and healthy into your golden years.

Avoid Getting Too Much Direct-Sunlight

Exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is one the major causes of skin cancer. When you’re exposed to these rays, they cause damage to the DNA found within your skin cells. Once damaged, your genesis lose control of cell growth and cancer begins to form.

To avoid direct-sunlight, it is recommended that you spend a majority of your time in shaded areas and wear weather-appropriate protective clothing. Sunglasses with UV protection also help to shield the delicate skin around your eyes.

Stay Away From Tanning Beds

Contrary to popular belief, indoor tanning (by using tanning beds) is not safer than tanning in direct-sunlight. In fact, studies have shown that just one tanning session can leave you at an increased risk for developing skin cancer by up to 67%. This is because tanning beds are also a source of harmful UV rays.

Wear Broad-Spectrum SPF

When it comes to protecting your skin, it is also recommended that you wear a broad-spectrum SPFas part of your protection plan. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, wearing SPF 15 or higher on a daily basis can reduce your risk for developing various types of skin cancer by up to 50%. Be sure to choose a broad-spectrum SPF as theseprotect the skin against both UVA and UVB sun rays.

Examine Your Skin Regularly

Like other forms of cancer, early detection is key when it comes to the effective treatment of skin cancer. With that being said, it is recommended that you give your body a thorough once over from head-to-toe every month.

If you see something new or unusual, be sure to see a dermatologist right away. This is because it may suggest the presence of skin cancer. When looking over your body, look out for the following signs outlined by the Skin Cancer Foundation:

  • Growths that appear to have grown in size.
  • Moles or birthmarks that have grown to larger than the circumference of a pencil eraser.
  • Spots or sores that itch, crust, or bleed.
  • An open sore that doesn't heal within 3 weeks.