How to Prevent Skin Cancer Naturally?

How to Prevent Skin Cancer Naturally?
Here are some of the top recommendations from the American Academy of Dermatology to the American Cancer Society, they have published guidelines on the best ways to protect yourself from skin cancer :

Avoid the sun when it's at its brightest
Experts suggest seeking shade whenever possible between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM, even in winter or when the sky is cloudy.

Wear sunscreen year-round

  • Sunscreen does not filter out all harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, but it offers some protection.
  • Apply the lotion generously (one or two tablespoons) to all exposed areas, and use a product with an SPF rating of at least 15, with coverage against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Remember that sunlight reflects off sand, water, snow, and ice, and these surfaces can magnify the effects of UV radiation by up to 80 percent.

Apply and reapply sunscreen regularly

  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, and every two hours once you're outside.
  • Reapply whenever you go in the water, are sweating significantly, or have dried yourself with a towel.

Cover your skin

  • To protect yourself from the UV rays your sunscreen doesn't block, wear tightly woven, dark-colored clothing that covers your arms and legs, as well as a broad-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck.
  • Consider investing in clothing that is specially designed to protect skin from the sun's rays.
  • Sunglasses with UV filters can also protect your eyes, with wrap sunglasses being optimal.

Avoid tanning beds
The lighting used in these machines can actually be more harmful than the sun — and you don't get the natural protection afforded by clouds.

Avoid sunburns
Even one bad sunburn has been shown to increase your risk of skin cancers such as melanoma, so don't take burns lightly.

Know your sun-sensitive medications
Many medications increase the chance of your skin's burning, so check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if any of your meds might make sun exposure more risky. If so, be extra careful.

Check your skin regularly
Look for any new growths, moles, bumps, birthmarks, or freckles, and use a mirror to check your face, ears, neck, and scalp.

Check in with your doctor
If you think you may be at risk for skin cancer, or if you notice changes in your skin during a self-exam, visit your doctor.

Warning signs for skin cancer include

  • A spot or sore that itches, hurts, scabs, or bleeds
  • An open sore that does not heal within two weeks
  • A growth, mole, or birthmark that changes color, shape, or texture
  • Contrary to popular belief, tanned skin is not healthy skin. Rather, it's skin that has been damaged by UV radiation.

Limit sunbathing and all activities in the sun whenever possible. Getting outside to exercise is generally a good thing, but not without proper protection for your skin.
How to Prevent Skin Cancer Naturally?
How to Prevent Skin Cancer Naturally?

The American Cancer Society recommends getting cancer-fighting nutrients from whole food sources rather than supplements because studies have found isolated compounds and whole food sources of nutrients have very different effects on cancer.

1. Antioxidants

ACS says that oxidative damage has been linked to increased risk of cancer and studies seem to show that diets rich in antioxidants such as carotenoids, vitamins C and E and other phytonutrients seem to lower risks.

Orange foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin & cantaloupe contain cartenoids which can reduce sunburn and wrinkles. Citrus fruits contain quercitin. Spinach & kale are high in lutein, and tomatoes & red peppers contain lycopene.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish suppress and slow cancer growth in animal studies and are linked to reduced risk of heart disease.

A healthy balance of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 is essential. Too many omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (from sunflower, safflower and other vegetable oils) will work their way to the skin’s surface, where sunlight oxidizes them. This creates dangerous free radicals which will damage DNA, leading to aging of the skin and skin cancer.

3. Selenium

Studies published in the 1996 Journal of the American Medical Association reported that selenium supplements reduced risk of death from skin cancer by 50% and resulted in 37% fewer malignancies. Selenium supplements should be taken in moderation though. Your best bet is to consume it from whole food sources like brazil nuts, walnuts, free-range chicken or grass-fed beef.

4. Tea

Tea contains many powerful antioxidants. Kingston University researchers recently tested 21 plant and herb extracts for their potential health benefits in 2009. They were surprised to find that white tea was the best performer.

5. Vitamin A

What most of us don’t realize is that vitamin A in supplements is usually toxic. Taking in beta carotene (from foods such as carrots, pumpkin & sweet potatoes) and letting your body convert it is your best bet.

6. Vitamin B

Biotin is the B vitamin that is the basis of skin cells. Deficiencies are rare because it’s in many foods such as bananas, eggs, and rice and our bodies make some on their own.

7. Vitamin C

Many studies, says ACS, have found that vitamin C in fruits and vegetables lower the risk of cancer, but no studies had shown that vitamin C supplements reduce cancer risk.

However, a recent study by scientists at the University of Leicester and Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Portugal has found that vitamin C supplements may protect skin cells.Skin cells in culture were exposed to sunlight and vitamin C and the scientists found evidence that the supplement seems to help clean up DNA damage done by the sun.

8. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is inextricably linked to your overall health. Your best source of Vitamin D is from the sun. It may surprise you to hear that the sun itself does not necessarily cause skin cancer, but can help prevent it! Other good sources of vitamin D are salmon and eggs.

9. Vitamin E

Vitamin E has long been touted as a skin treatment, but supplementing with large doses of vitamin E can be harmful. It naturally occurs in asparagus, olives, nuts, seeds and spinach.

Sources :
Skin cancer prevention
Fighting skin cancer with food
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