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Children Protection from Skin Cancer

Skin plays a vital role in keeping you healthy. Skin cancer generally develops in the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, so a tumor is usually clearly visible. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 500,000 new cases are reported each year-and the incidence is rising faster than any other type of cancer. The two most common types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. They usually form on the head, face, neck, hands and arms. The annual rates of all forms of skin cancer are increasing each year, representing a growing public concern. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) which may be locally disfiguring but are unlikely to spread to other parts of the body. The most dangerous type is malignant melanoma. This form of skin cancer can be fatal if not treated early but comprises only a small proportion of all skin cancers. Skin cancer can look many different ways. The most common sign of skin cancer is a change on the skin, such as a growth or a sore that won’t heal.Skin cancer may also appear as a flat red spot that is rough or scaly. 

Sometime there may be a small lump. This lump can be smooth, shiny and waxy looking, or it can be red or reddish brown.  Basal cell carcinoma usually looks like a raised, smooth, pearly bump on the sun-exposed skin of the head, neck or shoulders. Sometimes small blood vessels can be seen within the tumor. Malignant melanoma is usually signaled by a change in the size, shape, or color of an existing mole, or as a new growth on normal skin. Squamous cell carcinoma also can spread internally. The sun is responsible for over 90 percent of all skin cancers, including BCCs, which occur most frequently on the sun-exposed areas of the body: face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders and back. All three types of skin cancer are on the rise — but most skin cancers can be prevented by limiting or avoiding exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and by paying attention to suspicious changes in your skin. Skinned individuals who sunburn easily and tan minimally or not at all have a higher incidence of skin cancer than dark-skinned individuals.

Skin cancer affects people of all skin tones, including those with darker complexions. Protecting children from sun overexposure should be the goal of all parents. This protection doesn’t mean complete avoidance of sun light. Children sun-protection do not require very complicate actions or procedures. It only means to avoid artificial and natural ultraviolet light sources by proper use of sunscreens, shade or sun-protection gear.According to ultraviolet intensity levels the sun precautions or actions include sunglasses, sunscreens, physical protection (hats, umbrellas) and sun avoidance in case of very high intensity. Sunscreen can be considered as a protection against sunrays, but it is not a complete protection option for protecting the skin of the children. Sunscreen provides the protection only for sometime by blocking the rays of sun from falling on the skin. Due to environmental changes, excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation is a growing health concern for children.

Children Protection from Skin Cancer Tips

1. Reducing exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, especially in early years.

2. Avoiding sun exposure during the day ,when the sun is highest in the sky.

3. Wearing protective clothing (long sleeves and hats) when outdoors.

4. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB radiation.

5. Use SPF sun block of at least 30. 

6. Use sunglasses that state they protect from 100 percent of UVA and UVB (broad-spectrum).

7. Use lip balm that has a SPF rating of at least 15.

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