Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and visiting your doctor for routine exams are all necessary tasks to live a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, even when following these rules for a healthy life, you still may develop certain medical conditions. While surprising to learn, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. In some instances, skin cancer can lead to death, so proper understanding of this disease is imperative. Although treatment is possible, learning how to prevent skin cancer is smart. With this guide on surprising risk factors of skin cancer, you will have a better understanding on how to prevent this disease.
You're a Ginger
Gingers, or individuals with red hair, are most likely to have skin that is light or fair. Unfortunately, a combination of red hair and light skin makes you more prone to developing skin cancer.
Redheads have a decreased level of melanocortin 1 receptors. Also known as MC1Rs, these proteins protect the skin from the sun's ultraviolet rays. MC1Rs are found in higher levels in people with darker hair and skin tones, so they will have more protection against UV rays and less risk of developing skin cancer.
You're a Smoker
If you are a smoker, you probably know that this habit increases the risk of developing heart disease or lung cancer. However, smoking is also a common factor in the development of skin cancer.
Scientists believe that smoking may damage the DNA in your skin, which can directly affect the development of your skin cells. Over time, this can lead to the growth of cancerous cells in the skin.
Smoking can triple your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, which is a common form of skin cancer.
You're a Commuter
Commuting to work, school, or through town running errands will require you to spend more time inside your vehicle. Your face and neck will have a higher exposure to the sun through your vehicle's windshield. Plus, your arms will be in direct sunlight if you prop them on the window's ledge.
Unless your vehicle's windows offer specialized tint that protects you from the UV rays, an excessive amount of commuting is a factor that places you at risk of skin cancer.
You're a Dude
A large majority of women place importance on their skincare routine, cleansing, moisturizing, and applying SPF protection to their skin. Unfortunately, most men do not make skincare a priority. Only an estimated 51 percent of men in the United States apply sunscreen, increasing their risk of developing skin cancer.
In addition to slacking off on skincare, men tend to spend more time outdoors. Working, playing sports, and participating in different outdoor hobbies will all increase your exposure to the sun.
If you're one of these guys that does not use SPF protection even though you spend a good amount of time outdoors, you will have a higher risk of developing skin cancer.
You're a Frequent Flyer
If you spend a lot of time in the air, you will be closer to the sun. The closer you are to the sun, the more risk you have of being affected by cancer-causing ultraviolet rays.
The air is thinner at higher elevations, which reduces the shield between the sun and your skin. This reduced protection places added stress on your skin, increasing the exposure of the harmful ultraviolet rays. If you're an airline pilot, stewardess, or a person who flies regularly for work or personal needs, skin cancer may become an issue for you.
Skin cancer can be an overwhelming and frightening diagnosis, but preventing this disease is possible with proper understanding. To reduce your risk, use this guide to avoid some of the common factors of skin cancer. Check out a clinic like Countryside Dermatology & Laser Center for more information on the signs of skin cancer.