Skin cancer prevention

Skin cancer prevention and risk management begins with stopping drug usage

Skin cancer prevention and risk management: Melanin

Melanin is the colour pigment in our skins. When skin is exposed to sunlight, more melanin is produced to help protect the skin against the UV rays. This makes the skin darker what people refer to as a suntan. Although melanin stops your skin burning so easily, it does not prevent the harmful effects of UV rays and that is why skin cancer prevention is very necessary as a tool of risk management in keeping the skin health intact says doctor Dalal Akoury MD and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center. Doctor Akoury’s expert opinion is that most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to the sun which also includes:

  • The non-melanoma type of skin cancer
  • The melanoma type of skin cancer

Non melanoma skin cancers include basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Sun damage can also cause other skin problems to develop. For example, it can cause premature skin ageing, such as wrinkles and loss of elasticity. It can also cause non-cancerous growths on the skin, such as solar keratosis

Skin cancer prevention and risk management: Who is at risk of skin cancer?

People of all ages should protect their skin, but it is even more vital to protect children. Although skin cancer is rare in children, the amount of sun exposure during childhood is thought to increase the risk of developing skin cancer in adult life. Children who have had episodes of sunburn are more likely to develop skin cancers in later life. The skin of children is more delicate and more prone to damage. Therefore, take extra care with children, and keep babies out of the sun completely.

If you have pale skin, red or fair hair, and freckles, you have the type of skin which burns most easily. This puts you at increased risk of sun-related skin damage and you should take extra care to protect your skin NEVER allow yourself to burn. If you have pale skin, you do not have as much protective melanin. Skin cancers, especially melanoma, are less common in non-white skin types. However, they can still occur, and sun protection is still important. Other factors which can put you at more risk of developing skin cancer are:

  • Having lots of moles.
  • Having a history of a skin cancer of any type.
  • Someone in your family having a history of skin cancer.
  • Having albino skin. This is very white skin which has no melanin at all.
  • Having vitiligo. This is patches of very white skin with no melanin.
  • Scars on your skin from burns or ulcers.
  • A weakened immune system (being immunosuppressed.) This can be from an illness such as HIV or AIDS, or from certain medication which affects the immune system.
  • A job which involves you being outdoors most of the time.
  • Living in a hot country, particularly if you have naturally pale skin.

With all these risks, it is important that we all do our part in the prevention of skin cancer. And for the benefit of your skin health, you can always consult with doctor Dalal Akoury from time to time over the skin cancer prevention techniques.

Skin cancer prevention and risk management: Melanin