Many people love the warm sun. Sun rays can contribute to our good mood, and, in the short term, can contribute to our good appearance. But this love can be dangerous: the sun exposure causes most of the wrinkles and senile spots on our face. A 40-year-old woman who protects her skin from the sun exposure can have a skin of a 30-year-old woman!
We often associate shining skin with good health, but the color of the skin, resulting from exposure to the sun – or in the solarium – actually enhances the effects of aging and increases the risk of skin cancer.
The sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we take for the natural aging process. Over time, ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun damage the skin fibers called elastin. If these fibers are damaged, the skin begins to sag, stretch and loses its ability to restore the original shape after stretching. The skin is easier to form bruises and lesions – which last longer heal. And although sun damage to the skin can be invisible at a young age, it will definitely manifest later.
How does the sun affect your skin?
The exposure to the sun causes:
- Precancerous (actinic keratosis) and cancerous (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma) skin lesions – caused by loss of skin by its immune function;
- Benign tumors;
- Small and large wrinkles;
- Changed color of the skin, spotted pigmentation;
- Yellow skin color;
- Telangiectasia (an enlargement of small blood vessels under the skin);
What causes skin cancer?
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US. This is a growth of atypical skin cells. Such rapid growth leads to the formation of tumors that are either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
There are three common types of skin cancer:
- basal cell carcinoma;
- squamous cell carcinoma;
Basal and squamous cell carcinomas are the least serious types and account for 95% of all cancers. They are classified as non-melanoma types of cancer, and with timely treatment, the percentage of recovery is high. Melanoma caused by atypical skin pigment cells is the most serious form of skin cancer and leads to death in 75% of cases. If the disease is not treated, it can spread to other organs and become difficult to control.
Ultraviolet sun radiation is the main cause of the disease, but solariums may also be dangerous. The exposure to sunlight during the winter months also exposes you to the risk.
Cumulative sun exposure may cause cancer of basal and squamous cells, and severe sunburns (usually before the age of 18) can become a cause of melanoma in later life. Other, less common causes include repeated exposure to X-rays and the occupational impact of certain chemicals.
Who is most at risk for skin cancer?
While skin cancer can occur in anyone, there are people who are at most risk for skin cancer. These people have fair skin or freckles on the skin, light eyes, blond hair. Black people are also susceptible to all types of skin cancer, although this risk is significantly lower.
In addition to skin color, other risk factors for skin cancer include a family or personal history, working outdoors and living in hot climates. Severe burns in the past and an abundance of large and irregular forms of moles are risk factors inherent exclusively to melanoma.
What are the symptoms of skin cancer?
The most common sign of skin cancer is skin changes, usually the appearance of new moles or skin lesions, or changes in existing moles.
Basal cell carcinoma can manifest itself in the form of small, smooth, pearly or wax bulges on the face, ears, and neck; or flat, pink/red – or brown – lesions on the trunk or arms and legs.
Squamous cell carcinoma may occur in the form of solid, red nodules or stiff, lamellar, planar damage which may itch, bleed and crust. Basal and squamous cell carcinoma mainly occurs in the area of the skin, which is often exposed to the sun but may also occur elsewhere.
Melanoma usually manifests itself in the form of a pigmented spot or tubercle, which may resemble a common birthmark, which has an irregular shape and contours.
When looking for signs of skin cancer, the following symptoms will help you:
- Asymmetry – the shape of one half does not match the shape of the other;
- Borders – edges are uneven or fuzzy;
- Color – uneven coloring in brown, black, reddish, red, white or blue;
- Diameter is a significant change in size (more than 6 mm).
How is skin cancer diagnosed?
Skin cancer is diagnosed only by results of a biopsy. This process involves taking a tissue sample that is placed under a microscope and examined by a dermatologist or a doctor who specializes in skin cells. Sometimes with biopsy, all cancers can be removed, and subsequent treatment is not required.
How is skin cancer treated?
Treatment of skin cancer is individual and is determined by the type of skin cancer, the size of the lesion, its location, and the patient’s preferences.
The standard treatment of non-melanoma skin cancers (basal and flat cell carcinoma) includes moss surgery (for non-melanoma types of high-risk skin cancer) – excision of cancerous and some part of an additional tissue. Doctors also prescribe cancer drugs available in Canadian pharmacy. Visit the official website canadianhealthcarepharmacymall.com – this is a mail order pharmacy selling cheap but effective medications.
How to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun?
- It is necessary to gradually increase the dose of sunlight, starting from 10 minutes, but not exceeding 40 minutes;
- Stay in the sun at a safe time: three hours before noon or three hours later;
- Sunbathing is needed after some time after eating. And also it is not recommended to sunbathe being hungry;
- Use only high-quality sunscreens, the protection index of which exceeds SPF-15, and you’ better protect the skin with light cotton fabrics. In addition, you should know that the cream does not protect you completely, so it’s necessary to limit your exposure to the sun in any case;
- Protect from direct sunlight pigmentation spots and other skin lesions on the body. They can be reborn into cancerous tumors;
- Wear sunglasses that delay ultraviolet radiation.
By following these rules, you can protect yourself from the risk of skin cancer, but do not deprive yourself completely of the long-awaited sunbathing.