After learning that you require skin cancer treatments to remove melanoma or a potentially cancerous portion of your skin, your doctor will have you monitored often as you recover. Many patients can recover fully, enjoy activities outside and go back to work. However, they also have to be aware of future risks. If preventing new cancers is your goal, use these five methods of protecting yourself after going through skin cancer treatments and look forward to a healthier future.
1. Wear Clothes With UV Protection - After going through a round of skin cancer treatments that eradicate all signs of cancer, it is important to keep the outer layer of your skin healthy. Although keeping exposed skin to a minimum can be very helpful, you want to ensure that the clothes you have on have a good amount of UV protection. You can find clothing that is specifically made to block UV rays, as well as hats, sunglasses and even gloves if you are concerned about the recurrence of skin cancer.
2. Put On Sunscreen All Over - It may be a habit to rub sunblock on your face, neck, hands and arms each day, but you need to put it on the parts of your body that won't be directly exposed to the sun as well. Put sunblock or sunscreen on before getting dressed for the day, and focus on trouble spots like your hairline and behind the ears so that your skin cancer treatments remain effective. The less that your skin is exposed to UV rays, the less risk of skin cancers like melanoma have of developing.
3. Avoid Peak Daylight Hours - If you are planning a trip to the beach or want to go on a picnic, you can safeguard your skin by going during a time of day when UV rays are not at their peak. Not only will you be keeping your skin safer, but you also won't have to deal with the blistering heat or glare from the sun if you plan your outings earlier in the morning or soon before the sun sets.
4. Check Your Skin For Abnormalities - Skin cancer can sometimes go physically undetected, but in many cases, spots, patches, and abnormal moles appears in areas that have become cancerous. Checking your skin for irregularities can give you an early warning that more skin cancer treatments may be necessary. By noticing areas of concern sooner, you will able to get to you doctor for testing faster.
5. Ask A Doctor - Even if you feel that a new mole or spot on your skin is not a reason for concern, you should let your doctor be the judge of that. Your physician can perform a quick biopsy or send you to an oncologist, but there's no such thing as being overly cautious after you have survived skin cancer treatments. Ask all the questions you need and be open about all of your concerns about your skin, sun protection and recovering after treatment for skin cancer.