Skin Cancer Awareness: Protection and Dietary Tips

28 May, 2015

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Avoiding an overabundance of sun, covering the skin regularly and using sunscreen consistently are keys to preventing skin cancer.

Unfortunately, the number of skin cancer cases has been on the rise for the past few decades. With more than a million new cases each year, skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in the United States today. While it is true skin cancer is usually treatable if detected early, it is still important to protect yourself and your family as often as possible.

Woman Relaxing by Pool

Skin-Protecting Reminders:

  • Always apply sunscreen, whatever the season.
  • When purchasing sunscreen products, look for “broad spectrum protection” on the label to ensure you are protected against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • The proper amount of sunscreen for your body is about 1 ounce, or 30 milliliters – whichever is just enough to fill a shot glass. An entire teaspoon of that sunscreen should be applied to your face alone.
  • Apply sunscreen at least 15 to 20 minutes before going into the sun. If your skin is already red from the sun, the damage has already begun.
  • It’s important to protect every exposed area of the skin, including your ears and any bald spots.
  • Wear protective clothing when possible. Long sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats usually do the trick.
  • Wear sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB protection. Not only can your eyelids burn but exposure to the UVB rays can lead to cataracts.
  • Don’t think you’re protected in a car or looking out a window – the sun’s rays can penetrate glass so it is best to protect yourself even if you are not in the direct sunlight.
  • Make a habit of reapplying sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Stay out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day and seek the shade as much as possible.
  • If you simply need to have a tan, use self-tanner. (But remember to wear sunscreen, too!)

Skin-Protecting Dietary Choices:

Recent studies have shown it is possible to enhance the skin’s own protective mechanisms through dietary choices. The foods listed below are not only crammed with skin-cancer fighting nutrients, but they are also loaded with flavor!

  • Carrots – Because of their high beta-carotene content, carrots are great at protecting the skin against harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
    Green tea has been shown to protect cells against DNA damage caused by free radicals.

    Green tea has been shown to protect cells against DNA damage caused by free radicals.

  • Turmeric – This root plant has been shown to successfully induce apoptosis, a process that triggers the self-destruction of cancerous cells, without damaging healthy cells.
  • Green Tea – Catechins, the same compounds that are responsible for green tea’s weight loss promoting properties, have been shown to be highly effective at protecting cells against DNA damage caused by free radicals.
  • Raspberries – One of the most interesting compounds in raspberries is ellagic acid, a natural anti-carcinogen, anti-mutagen and an inhibitor of cancer. In some cases, it has also been able to cause apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells.
  • Cherries – Cherries are naturally rich in perillyl alcohol (POH), a compound that has been found to be effective at destroying cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

Skin cancer is the most preventable cancer. Taking steps to protect yourself is the first step. Educating your families and children about protection is crucial. Evensong Spa’s Aesthetic Skincare Professionals are always available to give proper skincare advice and personal skincare product and cosmetic recommendations.

Have a safe and healthy season!

In health and happiness,
Druellen Kosti
Spa Director

 

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