Six Habits that Help Protect Your Skin from Cancer

21 May, 2020
The prevalence of skin cancer has increased significantly in recent years. Thus, applying preventive measures such as sunscreen, routine check-ups, or dietary supplements is a good idea.
 

Are you looking for a way to protect your skin from cancer?

Perhaps you have very light skin or one of your relatives suffered from this disease. The truth is that cases of skin cancer have progressively increased, meaning that precautionary measures should be taken.

In this article, we’ll share six habits that will help you protect your skin from cancer. It’s important to be aware of this serious health problem and know the risk factors and effective preventive measures.

Six habits that help protect your skin from cancer

1. Use sunscreen

A woman applying sunscreen.
Every day, you must apply sunscreen that’s appropriate for your skin type.

First of all, sunscreen is designed to protect the skin against solar radiation. Applying it creates a barrier against ultraviolet rays. For this reason, in recent decades, health professionals have promoted its use so much.

Nevertheless, cases of severe skin cancer have continued to increase. Therefore, in addition to sunscreen, you must take other preventive measures.

You should also read: The Best Tips to Protect Your Hair From the Sun

2. Antioxidant moisturizers and lotions

According to a study published by Duke University Medical Center, sunscreens are effective but not ideal for skin protection. This study states that this is because people don’t use them correctly, their spectrum is incomplete, and that they can have toxic effects.

 

Instead, they propose the topical application of antioxidants as a complement to sunscreen. These experts assure that they’re documented and help protect the skin against cancer in another way.

These are:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Silymarin
  • Soy isoflavones
  • Tea polyphenols

3. Routine check-ups

A doctor checking a mole.
This is an effective preventive measure, especially if you’re in a special risk group.

You need to consider if you should go to regular check-ups. Some of the risk groups that require greater preventive measures and check-ups are those with:

  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Family history of melanoma
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Skin phototypes I or II
  • Genetic disorders with an increased risk of skin cancer
  • Regular smokers
  • HIV, HPV, and polyomavirus patients

4. Be careful with certain medications

You must also take a more unknown factor into account. Some medications increase photosensitivity, which hinders the body’s capacity to protect the skin from cancer.

Some of these medications are:

  • Tetracyclines (especially doxycycline)
  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Sulfonamides
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Retinoids
  • St. John’s wort

You can always consult your doctor if you take any of these drugs. If you can’t modify your treatment, you must take more extreme precautions when you expose yourself to the sun given your greater vulnerability.

 

5. Effective oral supplements to protect your skin

A woman taking a supplement.
You can get nutrients with great skin benefits through supplements or foods.

We already discussed topical antioxidants. However, food always occupies a fundamental place in health. For this reason, you can also turn to proven supplements that help protect your skin from cancer.

You can take supplements. However, you shouldn’t consider them an exclusive measure to protect you from the harmful effects of the sun. They should be a part of all these tips for effective prevention.

Also, we recommend always consulting your doctor before taking a supplement.

Below, we’ll mention the most effective supplements. In addition, we’ll also list some foods rich in these nutrients:

  • Vitamin A. Liver, carrots, spinach, dairy products, pumpkins, and eggs.
  • Vitamin C. Guava, citrus fruits, strawberries, and kiwis.
  • Vitamin E. Olive oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, dried apricots, spinach, quinoa, and oysters.
  • Selenium. Brazil nuts, tuna, oysters, sesame seeds, and eggs.
  • Essential fatty acids. Oily fish, linseed oil, evening primrose oil, and avocados.
  • Resveratrol. Grape juice or wine, peanuts, dark chocolate, and blueberries.
 

You should also read: The Harmful Effects of the Sun on Your Skin

6. Other factors to protect your skin

Finally, it’s important to emphasize that sun exposure isn’t the only cause of skin cancer. Tanning beds and exposure to chemical agents in certain places or jobs can increase the risk, as well.

Therefore, you must follow all these precautions. If you have an outdoor lifestyle, you always need to wear appropriate clothing to protect your skin from cancer, as well as sunglasses and sunscreen.

Also, remember the importance of quitting toxic habits, such as smoking, and following a complete and balanced diet. Finally, don’t forget about the routine check-ups whenever necessary!

 
  • Guerra, K. C., & Crane, J. S. (2018). Cancer, Skin, Prevention. StatPearls.
  • Pinnell, S. R. (2003). Cutaneous photodamage, oxidative stress, and topical antioxidant protection. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. https://doi.org/10.1067/mjd.2003.16