Skin Cancer Prevention
Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer - How to prevent?

Most skin cancers are preventable. There are several ways to lower the risk of skin cancer:

  • Avoid sun exposure during the middle of the day (10am-4pm).
    • Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight increases the risk of developing skin cancer. Avoiding the sun at its strongest helps to avoid the sunburns and suntans that cause skin damage and increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
    • Sun exposure accumulated over time may also cause skin cancer.
  • Apply sunscreen all year-round, including when indoors, on cloudy days or overseas in cold weather
    • Sunscreen should be used every day, and works best when it is applied 15 minutes before going outdoors. It should be reapplied every two hours or more frequently, especially when engaging in water sports or sweating a lot.
    • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB, the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of the sunscreen should be at least SPF 30 or higher. While higher-number SPFs can block slightly more of the sun’s UV rays, it is important to note that higher-number SPFs do not give longer protection and must be re-applied as frequently as sunscreens with lower SPF.
    • Apply a generous amount of sunscreen on exposed skin, including the lips, the tips of your ears, and the backs of your hands and neck.
  • Wear sun-protective clothing
    • As sunscreens do not provide complete protection from UV rays, it is important to cover your skin with dark, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs, and a broad-brimmed hat, which provides more protection than a baseball cap or visor does.
    • Use sunglasses that block both types of UV radiation — UVA and UVB rays.
  • Avoid tanning beds as the lights used in tanning beds emit UV rays that can increase the risk of skin cancer.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of any medications you take. If they increase your sensitivity to sunlight, take extra precautions to stay out of the sun to protect your skin.
  • Examine your skin often for new skin growths or changes in existing moles, freckles, bumps and birthmarks. Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice any changes that worry you.
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth