How to Reduce Your Risk of Actinic Keratosis and Skin Cancer

Person with moles on their neck How to Reduce Your Risk of Actinic Keratosis and Skin Cancer

Part of caring for your skin is making sure you're taking protective actions that will help prevent skin cancer or actinic keratosis from developing. If you're unsure what the best way to protect your skin from these ailments is, here are a few tips to help you out.

The Best Ways to Reduce Actinic Keratosis and Skin Cancer

Wear Sunscreen Every Day

While sunscreen isn't the only way you should be protecting your skin from the risk of skin cancer, it's certainly one of the most effective. And when we say it's important to apply sunscreen every day if you're going outside, we mean it! UVA and UVB rays can cut through cloud cover, which means you could still be exposing your skin to them if you're not properly protected. UVA and UVB rays can also contribute to the development of actinic keratosis, which can evolve to become one of the early signs of skin cancer if you're not careful. So make sure you're applying sunscreen before you head outside. When you're looking for a sunscreen, make sure you invest in a product with SPF 30 or higher. In addition, make sure you're applying your sunscreen correctly! To apply sunscreen correctly, apply on your skin at least 15 minutes before you head outside. In addition, you should put on more than one coat of sunscreen. Once you're out in the sun, make a point to reapply every two hours or so.

Wear Protective Clothing

Protective clothing is another excellent way to prevent the development of skin cancer and actinic keratosis. If you're planning on spending the day outside, make sure you're wearing clothing that protects your skin! While this might be an easy task during the winter, it's just as important during the summer months. As much as you might want to cover as little skin as possible, make sure you're packing an overshirt or a wide-brimmed hat in your bag anytime you venture out for a day on the beach or at the park. Doing so can provide your skin with an extra layer of protection from the sun's harmful rays, especially if you already put sunscreen on. If possible, try to find clothing with a UPF label. too. Clothing with this designation on the label means that it's fashionable and functional when it comes to UV ray protection.

Invest in Regular Skin Cancer Screenings

One of the best ways to prevent skin cancer from wreaking havoc on your body is to catch potential cancerous spots as soon as possible. That means regular skin cancer screenings are a necessity! Even the most thorough self-exams can still miss early signs of skin cancer. That's why it's so important to visit your dermatologist once every year or two for a skin cancer screening. It might feel a little bit intimidating, but it's one of the best ways to catch early signs of skin cancer and treat them before any potential skin cancer becomes serious. If you're in a high-risk group or you've undergone skin cancer treatment before, your doctor may request that you come in for skin cancer screenings more frequently.


When it comes to preventing skin cancer and actinic keratosis, a few simple preventive actions can make all the difference. If you have more questions about skin cancer prevention or want to set up a skin cancer screening, contact SE Dermatology Specialists today.

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