As we get older, our skin becomes more sensitive and prone to dangers and therefore needs extra care and protection. From utilizing preventative measures like staying protected from the sun to being vigilant about changes you may notice, there are many tips that seniors can follow to protect from developing skin cancer.
Seniors have a much higher risk of melanoma, due to their prolonged exposure to the sun. Throughout our lives, the sun harms our skin through tans and sunburns. Over time, this damages our skin’s DNA, aging it prematurely and causing the genetic defects that lead to skin cancer. This cumulative process is made worse by the natural, intrinsic decline in our immunity. As the body ages, our natural defenses weaken. Thus, the immune system reduces in efficacy and healing capacity. In addition to this, our skin loses fat and water content and therefore becomes thinner. This increases the possibility of corruption from UV rays and other carcinogenic interference. UV light and other pollutants can pass through the dermal layers more easily, compromising the cells within.
Prevention is the key to avoiding melanoma and other skin cancers. Refrain from unprotected outdoor activities, as they expose you to needless UV rays. If being outdoors is necessary or desired, be sure to regularly apply a high SPF sunscreen, in addition to wearing UPF clothing, to protect you from further sun damage. Remember to stay well-hydrated and conscious of sunscreen re-application. The more you venture outdoors with little to no protection, the more harmful UV rays you’re exposed to. This vastly increases your chance of developing melanomas while decreasing your immune system functions.
In addition to being conscious of sun protection, constant vigilance is the only way to spot signs of melanoma and other skin cancers. Routine skin cancer screenings should become a major part of your health care regimen. Keep your eye out for any changes in your skin, like the development of suspicious moles or marks. Should you spot any lesions or have questions about skin cancer screenings or SPF & UPF protection, contact the experts at Collins Advanced Dermatology Institute by calling or making an appointment online.