Taking Care in the Sun When You Have Skin Cancer

Posted on: 30 August 2018

Skin cancer is one of the more survivable forms of cancer, but it's still a scary thing to go through. If you've recently been diagnosed with it, you'll already be getting advice from your doctor on how to deal with the condition, and you may have started whatever treatment you've been recommended.

Chances are, you've also developed a bit of an aversion to the sun. As the sun is usually what causes skin cancer, and it can make things worse if you already have it, people often become overcautious and try to avoid sunlight after a diagnosis. There's no need to stay indoors or stick to the shade all the time, however. Just follow these tips and you can still enjoy some sunshine.

Always use a strong sun lotion

Using sun lotion is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself against harmful UV rays, and it's never more important than when you have skin cancer.

Get hold of the highest sun protection factor you can – even if it's much higher than you'd normally need to use. You need to be thorough, covering every exposed part of your body with a good layer, so get someone to help you if there are places you can't reach.

Reapply it often to keep yourself protected, and pay special attention to the part of your body with cancer. You also need to wait 30 minutes after applying it before you go outside, so it works properly.

Cover up with clothing

Although you might be used to wearing less clothing in the sun, it's best to cover up reasonably well to keep yourself safe.

You don't need to wear things that make you too hot, but go for lightweight clothing that covers your arms and most of your neck and shoulders. It's also a good idea to wear a hat that shades your face, especially if that's where you've developed skin cancer.

Stay inside during the hottest part of the day

Between about midday and 4 pm, the sun is usually at its strongest. People are normally told to limit their time in the sun during this period and to follow the usual protective measures.

If you have skin cancer, however, it's best to avoid it entirely, staying indoors until the sun's rays are weaker. Make time in the morning or early evening to do anything you need to that involves being outside.

Limit your exposure

Unfortunately, sunbathing is out for the time being. Although you can spend short periods sitting in the sunlight, you should limit them to no more than 15 minutes.

Take care not to fall asleep in the sun. It's best to have someone with you who can remind you when it's time to move into the shade.

For more tips, visit a skin cancer clinic and speak with a dermatologist.

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