As the leading type of cancer experienced by almost 2 in 3 Australians by the age of 70, skin cancer poses common health problems and the need to take extra precautions. However, what makes someone more likely to develop skin cancer, and what types of precautions can be taken to protect oneself from the sun’s harmful rays?
Who Is Most At Risk for Developing Skin Cancer in Australia?
The leading cause of skin cancer in Australia is due to the high levels of UV radiation that occurs throughout the year. Older residents are often most at-risk, as they often have more risk factors that have accumulated throughout the course of their life.
Common risk factors for developing skin cancer in Australia include:
- Having a good amount of moles or freckles on your body.
- Having suffered many sunburns throughout the course of your life, especially if you have fair skin that doesn’t tan easily, light hair or light eyes. This is also more of a risk factor if you have experienced multiple sunburns during childhood or adolescence. In fact, children or adolescents who receive a great deal of sun during the first 15 years of life are immediately predisposed to a greater risk of developing skin cancer throughout their lifetime.
- Having a family history of skin cancer.
- Spending a lot of time in the sun in your daily life and throughout the years, even if sunscreen has been used.
How To Protect Yourself From Developing Skin Cancer
While there are no absolute methods for avoiding skin cancer problems, there are a number of steps that Australians can take to avoid the condition, or to prevent its return. Some of these protective factors include:
- Seeking shade whenever possible to prevent direct exposure in the sun for long periods of time.
- Wearing a large hat if shade is not a possibility. A hat can protect a person from getting skin cancer in common places such as the face, the neck and the ears.
- Wearing protective clothing that shields skin as much as possible. Obviously, this can be difficult in a warm-weather climate, however darker clothing with a substantial fabric is best to prevent the sun’s UV radiation from penetrating protective layers.
- Using sunscreen liberally when outdoors and reapplying at least every two hours. Sunscreens with a high SPF and that are water-resistant are the best options, particularly in Australia.
What Are My Options If I Have Skin Cancer?
To the relief of many people, skin cancer that is detected early can be easily removed with minor procedures. For others that suffer unsightly marks that skin cancer has left behind, there are also options to reduce the appearance of sunspots or scarring.
For a Sydney cosmetic plastic surgeon with extensive skin cancer experience, contact Dr. Steve Merten at Pure Aesthetics on 9252 9262 to set up your consultation today.
If you want to discuss Skin Cancer or any other cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, please call us at Pure Aesthetics on 9252 9262 or Contact Us for an appointment to see our Sydney Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Steve Merten.