Anyone who has suffered from skin cancer needs to take extra special care to avoid getting burnt and always wear high factor sunscreen.
Everyone needs to be careful in the sun, in order to prevent getting sunburn or developing a form of skin cancer. However, those who have previously suffered from skin cancer must do their utmost to be safe in the sun.
Post-Cancer Skin Care – Check Skin Regularly
As those who have previously suffered from skin cancer such as malignant or non-malignant melanoma have a greater risk of it returning, it is important to check the skin regularly for changes. In Skin Cancer and Sun Safety – The Essential Guide, Newcombe (2010) identifies checking skin regularly and seeking medical attention for the following:
- Spot or sore patch of skin that appears and doesn’t heal within a month
- Spot or sore area, itches, painful, crusted over or bleeds
- The skin formed into ulcer for no apparent reason
Moles should also be checked, regardless of whether one has had skin cancer in the past or not. Key signs to look out for, as suggested by Newcombe (2010) include:
- New mole looking different/unusual
- Existing mole growing in size
- Ragged or uneven-edged mole
- Painful, uncomfortable, itchy mole
- Varying shades of color in mole
- Inflamed or red-edge mole
- Bleeding, oozing or crusty mole
Getting into the habit of checking skin regularly is useful for the whole family to do, with this being the quickest way to pick up on any signs or symptoms that all is not well. This is especially important in the case of malignant melanoma which can be lethal, particularly if not caught and treated in time.
Post-Cancer Sun Protection – Stay Healthy, Avoid Sunburn
Anyone who is a former sufferer of skin cancer must take extra precautions during warmer days, to avoid the risk of skin cancer returning. It is also very dangerous to use a sunbed, making fake than the safest option available.To take care of skin after cancer, Newcombe (2010) suggests the following sun safety guidelines:
- Wear close clothing made with weave cotton when out on sunny days
- Choose trousers and shirts with long sleeves, rather than shorts and vest tops
- Find a hat offering good protection for the neck and your face
- Try to stay away from the sun at its strongest, from 11 am until 3 pm
- Always wear broad-spectrum, high factor sunscreen
- Wear wraparound sunglasses for better eye protection
- Never allow the skin to get burnt
As highlighted above, those who have has skin cancer such as malignant melanoma are at a higher risk of cancer returning. Checking moles and skin regularly for any signs or symptoms and always wearing high protection sunscreen is important, as is wearing sunhats, sunglasses and avoiding sunburn.