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chefl's avatar

What do people in general need to know about skin cancer, other than not to stay in the sun too long esp. without sunscreen?

Asked by chefl (917points) August 6th, 2022

Is there anything other than what can be found on for eg.

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11 Answers

SnipSnip's avatar

Just go to the dermatologist annually for a full-body check.

raum's avatar

Well…related to sunscreen. But not often addressed. You can get skin cancer on your scalp. But people don’t exactly rub sunscreen into their hair. :/

raum's avatar

Also, my SIL’s friend is a pediatric oncologist and advises parents to have their kids spread their toes when spraying sunscreen, because that’s a spot that’s often missed.

seawulf575's avatar

I have a bit of a problem with the whole sunscreen push to begin with. It goes back to what UV radiation is in the sunlight and what that UV radiation does to you. To understand this issue, you need to see what each does There are 3 types of UV rays that come from our sun…UVA, UVB, and UVC. They differ by the wavelength of the energy. UVC has the smallest wavelength, UVB next smallest and UVA has the longest. The Earth’s atmosphere blocks out all of the UVC, some of the UVB and almost none of the UVA.

It was found that UVA is the energy that causes melanoma (skin cancer) and UVB that causes sun burns. But most sunscreens being sold 30 years ago only protected against UVB rays. Sun Protection Factors (SPF) are based on protection from UVB. So people were removing natures way of saying “Get out of the sun, stupid” and spending more time in the sun. What we saw was that the more sunscreen that was sold, the more instances of skin cancer showed up. So then the industry started addressing UVA rays. They would add ingredients to help block out UVA rays. But an interesting thing, to be able to claim this protection, they only have to prove the the new product protects against UVA to ⅓ of the SPF.

So we have a new product that protects against UVA and UVB. But you get 3x the protection against UVB (which doesn’t cause skin cancer) as UVA (which does cause skin cancer). So you are still spending more time in the sun because you are not burning and still soaking up more UVA rays in the process.

Your best courses of action, if you are wanting to go out into the sun and are worried about skin cancer are to:
1. Avoid Tanning Booths/Beds. Almost all UVA rays.
2. If you want to use a sunscreen, get one that has zinc oxide as an active ingredient. This will give you the best protection against all radiation.
3. Limit your time in the sun.
4. Bring some light, loose fitting clothes to help block the sun while you are out.
5. Be diligent about inspecting your body, looking for changes, strange new moles, unusual patches on your skin, etc.
6. Have a medical professional check out anything that looks suspicious.

chefl's avatar

Thanks @All.

But my question is what do people need to know other than using unscreen, not too much in the midday ish sun, and look into pathes, lesions etc. Other than what is mentioned in the article and similar articles?
@SnipSnip going to the doctor anually (if possible), is for general checkup. My question is specific to skin cancer and also what should people know and do or not do between doctor’s visits, as apreventitive measure.
@raum amazing how amny other places it’s supposed to be. We’re supposed to use sunscreen on the hair too? How about a turkey baster kind of thing to just get the scalp.
@seawulf575 I’m not worried about the sun I am not a fan of being in the sun that much. I’m still reading your post. If you would post a link, that would be good.

I tried to CTRL F for unltraviloet rays on thr link I posted, but eventhough the word is there, it’s not getting highlighted.

smudges's avatar

@chefl Ohfergawd’ssake! What, specifically, are you looking for in answers?? You got some damn fine ones. And if there’s something you want us to know, just tell us! You often do that…you ask a question just to answer it yourself or give your opinion. Quit picking!

chefl's avatar

“Live your life”, Be you, don’t try to be someone else.”

chefl's avatar

@seawulf575I Sorry, you did post links. My brain didn’t register the word links. My brain needs to see url needs

JLeslie's avatar

Some of these are listed above.

Annual dermatology check-ups.

Avoid the sun. (Get your vitamin D checked if you avoid getting tan. UVB created tan/burn and also gives you the D you need. No tan/burn no D).

Watching for changes on your skin or irregular shaped moles.

Areas on your skin that bleed easily, that you might think is a mosquito bite, or irritation, but never heals.

Family history of skin cancer.

chefl's avatar

So, what about other than all those things in the Mayo Clinic’s link? Is there another website that adds one more thing to what to do or not do?

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