The month of May is Skin Cancer Awareness month and it’s the perfect month to bring some awareness to this disease. In many parts of the country, May is the first month that people get outside and enjoy the sunshine, which unfortunately, also means it’s often the first month that someone gets sunburned each year. While many people consider a sunburn a rite of passage for the entrance of summer, getting too much sun can have detrimental long-term health effects with skin cancer being one of them.
While your loved one cannot go back in time to undo any of the damage from her younger years, you can help make sure she doesn’t do more damage to her skin and help her reduce her risk of developing skin cancer. Here are some ways to reduce the risk of skin cancer developing.
Learn Your Skin
For elderly individuals, it’s important to know their skin and what their freckles and moles look like.
Catching any changes in these areas of the skin is key to catching any signs of skin cancer early on. Your loved one should check her body from head to toe regularly to look for any abnormalities. If she has moles that she cannot see, she should have her senior home care provider or a family member check them for her.
Getting outside is important to overall health, but staying safe while outside is important for your loved one. If her senior home care provider is taking her out for an afternoon, make sure they follow these safety tips.
Stay in the Shade
If watching a performance or a parade, her senior home care provider should place her lawn chair in the shade and then not forget to move it as the sun moves across the sky.
Keep her arms and legs covered. Loose-fitting cotton clothing that breathes can be more comfortable than shorts and a no-sleeve top, plus they’ll protect her skin.
Wear a Wide-Brimmed Hat
The brim will protect her ears, face, and neck from the direct sun while also helping shade her eyes from the bright sun. If her hair is thin, it’ll also help protect her scalp from getting sunburned since putting sunscreen on the scalp is near impossible.
Speaking of sunscreen, make sure her senior home care provider applies sunscreen on all exposed skin.
Then bring extra to reapply throughout the day. She should use broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
Avoid those times of the day when the sun is strongest if possible. If your loved one is looking to attend an event that takes place all day (like a fair or festival), have her consider attending in the early morning or early evening to avoid the sun when it’s at its strongest.
Avoid Indoor Tanning
If your loved one likes the look of tan skin, she can look at tanning lotions to bring out her natural tan.
Staying safe doesn’t mean your loved one can never go out again, it’s simply a matter of planning and making better choices.