Skin Safety—Preventing Melanoma in Senior People
As reported by the NCBI, melanoma majorly affects adults over the age of 65. But if this skin cancer is detected early, the chances of battling it successfully by undergoing treatment are highly likely. This is why melanoma awareness and prevention are vital.
Here are the risk factors of developing melanoma and the protective measures that can be taken.
Extended sun exposure—wear sunscreen!
The downside of living long is that you’re exposed to Ultraviolet (UV) rays for a long period of time. This can cause everything from skin problems to genetic defects that lead to skin cancer. To make matters worse, our skin’s defenses weaken over time, due to thinning and lower healing capacity. This increases the risk of developing skin cancer.
Many older adults mistakenly argue that since they protect themselves from UV rays growing up, they don’t need to start now. But protection from UV radiation is necessary at all ages! Senior citizens should apply sunscreen with a high SPF value and that too at multiple times a day. Cloudy weather is no reason for ditching sunscreen, either, because radiation still filters through clouds and causes permanent damage to the skin.
Wearing sunscreen is not enough. For complete protection from UV rays, wear sun-protective clothing with densely woven fabric that covers your arms and legs. Don’t forget UV-protective sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats to shield your face and neck!
It is also advised to avoid going out when the sun’s rays are the strongest, between 10 AM and 4 PM.
Taking care if you have moles
The presence of abnormally shaped moles on the body is an indication that a person is at increased risk of developing melanoma. Moles—especially larger than ordinary ones—should be checked out by a doctor. They can appear on both covered and uncovered skin.
If your senior loved one can’t do a self exam, look for any unusual, discolored or irregular bordered spots every month. These techniques for conducting a head-to-toe skin inspection will help you out.
Weakened immune system
A prolonged life often leads to a weakened immune system. This can be due to a number of reasons, such as organ transplant surgeries or certain medications that increase the risk of melanoma.
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