is a skin thing.
Heat of emotion
is a skin thing.
is a skin thing.
And care is, too…
The skin is not only the biggest organ of our body, but it is also our greeting card, responsible for these and other indescribable sensations of our daily life.
Besides, it works as a protective barrier against external agents: sun rays, fungi, bacteria, chemical products… Isn’t it a good reason for you to take care of yourself?
Orange December is the month of skin cancer awareness, a disease that can be avoided with very simple measures. Today, skin cancer accounts for 33% of all diagnoses of the disease in Brazil. And, every year, 180 thousand new cases arise.
skin cancer is
You may have already seen in our other campaigns that cancer is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of the cells that make up different organs – in this case, we are talking about the skin. These cells begin to form layers, and the types of cancer are defined according to the affected layers. Get to know each one of them:
Basal Cell Carcinoma
It is the most common among the types of skin cancer and usually appears in the deepest layer of the epidermis (the upper skin layer).
It usually occurs in regions that are more subject to sun exposure, such as the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders and back, and presents itself as an elevated, pinkish and shiny lesion with a central crust, which can bleed easily.
It is important that the doctor makes the diagnosis as soon as possible so that the removal of the lesion has the best aesthetic result. In addition, it has great chances of cure and low lethality when diagnosed early on.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
It is the second most common type and appears in squamous cells, which constitute most of the upper layers of the skin, and presents signs of sun damage, such as wrinkling, changes in pigmentation and loss of elasticity.
It is twice as common in men than in women and, although it is mainly caused by excessive sun exposure, it can also come from chronic wounds and scars on the skin, as well as from exposure to specific chemical agents or to radiation.
It is the rarest, but also the most serious one. Generally, it appears in the form of spots or blemishes that can change color, shape or size, and even cause bleeding.
It is not always easy to notice that the blemish or spot corresponds to a melanoma. Therefore, every spot should be closely monitored and, in case of change, the dermatologist should be quickly consulted (see recommendation below).
In women, they are more common on the legs; in men, on the torso; and in both sexes, on the neck and on the face. Despite the high mortality rate, with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, the chances of cure reach 90%.
How to prevent yourself
As you may have noticed, skin cancer is treatable and curable in most cases, but the saying “prevention is better than cure” is also worth mentioning here.
So, let’s learn about some of the factors that facilitate the development of the disease and how to avoid them. With care and prevention, it is possible to have a beautiful and healthy skin!
Here comes the sun…
Sunbathing is a very healthy habit, contributing to bone development and to our physical and mental well-being. However, frequent exposure to the sun rays means increased risks of developing skin cancer.
But it is possible to enjoy the best of the sun without putting your health at risk!
Whenever possible, before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., which is when the amount of UV rays is reduced.
Always wear sunscreen
Even if you are not on the beach, and even if the weather is cloudy! It seems an exaggeration, but the sun rays are present even when we cannot see or feel them easily. Although fair skin is more susceptible to cancer, darker skins also require care. Ok?
So, the recommendation is to wear a SPF 30 sunscreen or higher, every single day. And there’s more: you need to reapply it during the day, even more after sweating! Dermatologists recommend the equivalent of one teaspoon of sunscreen for the face and three tablespoons for the body at every application. Ears, arms, back of the head: leave no part unprotected!
And what about the children?
Because they are more exposed while playing, it is necessary to increase the care with kids: reapply the sunscreen several times a day and complement the protection by wearing hats and T-shirts.
What if I’m wearing a mask to protect myself against COVID-19?
Apply the sunscreen to the face and neck as usual before putting on the mask, and reapply it on the hands and arms, especially after washing them.
To sum up:
It is important to remember that only by wearing sunscreen is not enough.
It is necessary to complement the ways of protection against the sun with other elements, such as clothes, hats and sunglasses.
I have cases of skin cancer in my family
Some skin types are more susceptible to developing cancer.
So, if you have many cases in the family, the best solution is to reinforce the care against the sun and have the dermatologist become your best friend!
Is this mole cancer?
It doesn’t hurt to repeat: only the dermatologist can make diagnoses, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t monitor any suspicious blemishes or spots that appear on your skin.
To know how to identify danger signals, just follow the ABCDE rule:
(Dark shades of black, various colors)
(larger than 5 millimeters)
(change in size, shape, and color)
When do I need to visit a dermatologist?
You have understood that prevention is the best alternative. Now you need to know that the dermatologist is the most important ally along this path. In case a mole changes or there is a suspicious blemish, make an appointment.
And even when there are no signs of danger, it is recommended that you visit the dermatologist. Those who have a history of too much sun exposure or have many spots on the skin should make visits at least annually, to look for any malignant lesion.
Thus, you eliminate any suspicion and, in case of a positive diagnosis, treat the tumor in the initial phase and increase – a lot – its chances of cure.
Sources: Brazilian Society of Dermatology and Practical Guide for Cancer Prevention (Brazilian Society of Clinical Oncology).
Technical manager: Dr. Claudio Luiz Seabra Ferrari – CRM: 60113 – SP