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7 Expert Tips to Lower Your Risk for Skin Cancer



  • Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US if  you include all the various types of skin cancer.
  • If the UV index is 3 or higher in your area, make sure you are protecting your skin from exposure to the sun.
  • Regardless of your risk for skin cancer, there are some important things you can do to boost your prevention and protect your skin.

Preventing melanoma starts with your routines. You can still enjoy the sun and be outside, but there are certain steps you can take to make sure you’re skin-safe.

Skin safety is not only important for your health, but it can also affect your finances. There is a connection between skin cancer and life insurance because this condition can increase your rates or affect your insurance coverage. You should compare rates online or work with an insurance provider to find the best insurance coverage if you have skin cancer.

We’ll talk about some simple changes you make to your lifestyle and skincare routine to help prevent skin cancer. We’ll also discuss how these steps can help you not only physically, but also financially.

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It can occur in the skin anywhere on the body, including areas that don’t get much sunlight. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US if  you include all the various types of skin cancer.

Most skin cancer is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sunlight or tanning beds. Sunburns are a short-term effect of UV overexposure. Long-term overexposure can lead to various types of skin cancer.

What are the types of skin cancer?

There are many different forms of skin cancer, but there are three most common types. Squamous and basal cell carcinoma are the two most common types of skin cancer. All three types occur in the epidermis, which is the top layer of the skin.

Squamous cell carcinoma occurs in flat cells in the top layer of the epidermis. Basal cell carcinoma affects the round cells located under the squamous cells of the epidermis.

Melanoma is not as common as the other two, but it is the most deadly. Melanoma affects the melanocytes and are found deeper in the epidermis. It can also spread to nearby tissues and other parts of the body.

Who is affected by skin cancer?

Anyone can get skin cancer, but there are some risk factors that may make skin cancer more likely to develop. Here are some of the characteristics that make you at a higher risk for developing skin cancer:

  • A family history of skin cancer.
  • A personal history of skin cancer.
  • Older age.
  • Lighter skin color.
  • Skin that burns, freckles, or becomes red easily.
  • Blue or green eyes
  • Blonde or red hair.
  • Certain types and a large number of moles on the skin.

Regardless of your risk for skin cancer, there are some important things you can do to boost your prevention and protect your skin.

How can you prevent skin cancer?

There are a number of ways that you can prevent skin cancer. This may mean some changes to your lifestyle or skincare routine, but these seven tips are important to protect your health.

#1 – Limit Sun Exposure

The sun is most powerful during the hours of 10 am to 4 pm, so avoiding or limiting sun exposure during this time is important. This includes even on cloudy or overcast days because UV rays can still reach your skin. If the UV index is 3 or higher in your area, make sure you are protecting your skin from exposure to the sun.

#2 – Use Sunscreen

You should wear sunscreen throughout the day and reapply every few hours. If you are swimming or sweating, you should reapply sunscreen more often than every two hours. Some experts recommend a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF (sun protection factor) 15 or above, while some recommend SPF 30 or above.

Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Many face moisturizers are available with sunscreen, but you will also need to apply sunscreen to the rest of your body that’s exposed to the sun. Using sunscreen also helps prevent premature skin aging and not using it is a skincare sin.

#3 – Avoid Indoor Tanning

Tanning beds and sun lamps should be avoided to take care of your skin. These can cause skin damage because of the high levels of intense UV rays. Even if you used indoor tanning beds in the past, you can stop now and prevent further damage to your skin.

#4 – Wear Sun-Protective Clothing

Sunscreen is important, but your clothing should also provide protection from the sun. Hats, sunglasses, and clothing that protects your arms and legs is important. Clothing that has UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of 50 and up can protect against 98% of the rays from the sun.

#5 – Check Your Skin

You are the one who sees your skin most often, so you should be checking for any changes to moles, if any new spots or moles appear, or if anything is bleeding. Use a mirror and check all surfaces of your body, including between your toes, the soles of your feet, neck, head, and butt.

You can remember the A-B-C-D-E’s of melanoma and report any of these changes to moles or pigmented skin to your health care provider for follow-up. This stands for:

  • A is asymmetry
  • B is border
  • C is color
  • D is diameter
  • E is evolving

#6 – See Your Dermatologist Yearly

It’s also important to see your dermatologist at least annually for a skin check. These professionals can track any changes in your skin and view any suspicious moles or spots. They may make recommendations to remove or treat any spots that may be indicative of skin cancer.

#7 – Include Antioxidants in Your Diet

UV rays cause free radicals to be produced in the body, which can damage cells and put you at higher risk for many chronic diseases. Free radicals can damage the cells of the skin, which could lead to skin cancer.

Antioxidants are healthy substances that help fight the damage to the body’s cells from free radicals. Plant foods are the richest sources of antioxidants. Colorful fruits and vegetables are a great source of many antioxidants, along with coffee, tea, and dark chocolate.

How does skin cancer affect me financially?

If you have health insurance, your yearly skin checks by a dermatologist should be inexpensive or free. If you do develop skin cancer, you may have additional medical costs to cover treatment but this depends on the severity and the type of skin cancer. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and may result in the highest financial impact.

Skin cancer can also affect your life insurance rates and coverage. If you already have a life insurance policy, the cost should not change if you are diagnosed with skin cancer.

If you are searching for new life insurance coverage and you have recently been diagnosed with skin cancer, this will affect your rates. The cost and coverage depends on the type, severity, and if you are undergoing treatment. You can compare rates online or work with an insurance agent to find the best coverage and rates for life insurance.

Protect Yourself to Prevent Skin Cancer

Even though skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the US, there are many steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. Even though skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US, these seven tips will go a long way in helping prevent this condition for you.

Melissa Morris writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, She has master’s and bachelor’s degrees in exercise science and health promotion and is a university professor of health sciences and human performance.  


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