Health Aging Month reminds us to focus on the many aspects of getting older — and how we can prepare for them.
One of the most pressing issues for healthy aging requires recognizing the risks of skin cancer, which becomes significantly more likely as we add many more candles to the birthday cake.
Understanding your risk and taking preventative measures can literally save your life. The specialists at First OC Dermatology are committed to educating patients about skin cancer risks and providing personalized treatment plans.
Understanding Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is caused by the rapid, uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. This usually happens when there’s unrepaired DNA damage in skin cells. Usually, it’s caused by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation or, in some cases, by tanning beds. The resulting damage triggers skin mutations, leading the cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.
While younger people can and do get skin cancer, it’s so important to understand the increased risks that come with age.
Key Risk Factors
Risk factors for skin cancer are multifaceted and range from genetic predispositions to lifestyle choices. The most common factor remains exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays.
However, a family history of skin cancer, certain skin types and colors, and the presence of moles can also heighten the risk for many patients. Other factors include exposure to certain chemicals, a weakened immune system, and a history of severe sunburns.
As you age, it’s important to maintain awareness of these factors and take preventative measures, such as regular screenings.
Prevention and Early Detection
Prevention is your first line of defense against skin cancer. That includes regular use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, as well as:
- Avoiding peak sun exposure hours
- Wearing protective clothing
- Regularly examining your skin for any changes
Early detection can dramatically improve outcomes for skin cancer patients, so regular skin checks by a dermatologist are a vital step for prevention.
Schedule a Consultation Today
The team at First OC Dermatology specializes in comprehensive skin cancer screenings and can help identify suspicious growths or changes early on.
If you haven’t had a skin cancer screening recently or have concerns about changes in your skin, consider scheduling a consultation with the specialists at First OC Dermatology. To learn more, contact the Irvine, CA, office at (949) 679-9997, or the Fountain Valley, CA, office at (714) 531-2966.