There are some basic tips for skin cancer prevention that everyone should be aware of. Please peruse this information for some helpful advice on sun protection, and cancer prevention.
Any unnecessary sunlight exposure will be damaging to the skin. Sunburn is a result of over exposure to ultraviolet B radiation and should be avoided. The Ultraviolet A radiation early and late in the day is also damaging. There are no immediate signs of over exposure to this kind of radiation. It does cause lines on the skin easy bruising and irregular pigmentation after many years.
In addition to the information on the fact sheet found below, here is some valuable information regarding preparation for sun exposure and prevention tactics for skin cancer.
The Skin Centre recommends:
- Avoiding excessive sunlight exposure to the skin
- Nicotinamide (Vitamin B3) (Adults only) 500mg morning and night on the days you are going outside.
- Sunscreen Always 50+
- Adequate Vitamin D
Nicotinamide is a the active form of Vitamin B3. It should be taken morning and night if more than one hour of exposure to sunlight is expected in a day (this includes exposure through glass e.g driving and also if you are in the shade). We advise 250mg twice daily, as this also has an anti-ageing effect at this dosage.
Through research conducted by dermatologists this vitamin (Nicotinamide) has been shown to protect the body's immune system from the sun's ultraviolet radiation. This protection is complementary to sunscreen which should still be worn.
Please be aware, there is another form of vitamin B3 which is not recommended because it causes flushing. This form is called Niacin. Often the chemist will recommend this form of the B3 vitamin. Do not take this form of B3 - wait until you can purchase the correct form.
You can purchase nicotinamide from select health food stores, or your local pharmacy.
Use a double layer of sunscreen when maximum protection from UV exposure is required. We recommend Actinica 50 + be applied first followed by an opaque zinc sunscreen, for example Ella Bache sun base foundation or Elizabeth Arden covering cream. Continue to re-apply the top layer throughout the day.
Adequate Vitamin D
It is important to know that:
A little sunlight exposure is actually imperative to maintain healthy vitamin D levels.
- 5 minutes summer and 10 minutes winter daily in the sun (in Queensland) between 10am and 2pm on a minimum of 200 sq CM of skin without sunscreen (equivalent to the back of the hands).
- When a small area of skin is exposed you should have 3 to 5 exposures a week.
- If larger areas of skin are exposed only once a week will be necessary.
- Ideally you would expose areas of the body that are not sundamaged.
- Remember the body does not make Vitamin D to any great extent early and late in the day.
- Try to avoid showering or swimming immediately after the exposure as tis may reduce the final amount of Vitamin D available.
- If this exposure is possible you should have adequate Vitamin D levels. If this is not possible consider a vitamin D supplement. Your general practitioner will know if this is safe for you.