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Basal Cell Carcinoma

To protect our skin from sun burn

Is this a Basal Cell Carcinoma on my ear?   Do you actually know what a basal cell carcinoma looks like?  I don’t want to freak people out with some pictures of untreated carcinomas.  So please know before you go to the site from Skin Cance.net, these are real pictures of skin cancer.  Yes, just like the ones you can develop if you are not taking care of your skin.

https://skincancer.net/video/what-does-basal-cell-look-like?

Finding that you have an open sore that won’t heal is scary enough.  But to know what to call it?  That means this is no longer a nameless fear.  When we can refer to a vague none named spot on your forehead or shoulder, it just doesn’t have the impact that the words skin cancer do.  

A “spot or place” is different from a Basal Cell Carcinoma.

Be Aware

The spot is just “kind of there and not important enough for a name,” so we really don’t pay attention.  You are now aware of skin cancer and know that vague descriptive terms aren’t good enough.  Call this skin cancer by its name and get to your Dr and get it taken care of.  

Even though I know that talking about basal cell carcinoma is jumping to the middle of the whole skin cancer thing, it is a good place to start.

You can’t ignore an open sore on your body.  The short video above makes you aware of what this form of cancer looks like for you and your family.  You are beyond the squamous cell carcinoma.  Often people ignore just a rough place on the side of their forehead.  Even on their arm or hand. 

An open sore is more difficult to ignore.  This will usually get your attention.  We are becoming more aware of this form of cancer and realizing that we should protect our skin better to try and avoid having these skin cancers. 

Yes, we are also realizing that our lifestyle is contributing to the open sores on the parts of our body exposed to the sun.  Your careless approach to skin protection in the sun can allow your skin to develop skin cancer.  Will you allow this to happen?

How Sun Safe Are You?

You may have been a very sun aware and a sun safe citizen all your life.  I am sorry to say in our family we were not at all safe.  We had lived in the sun, loved playing in the sun.  

I personally grew up in a time of ignorance about sunscreen and the need of protecting your skin.  We were kids that played and loved being outdoors and in the neighborhood.  Being outside and unaware where the dangers await for skin to receive damage from the sun.

That was accepted in another day and time. We can no longer be so complacent about our skincare. You as an individual have to be more aware and take better care of your skin.  No longer can you can’t plead ignorance.  You know better.  

Sun blocking clothing is the basis of our skin protection plan.  Remember that you now know how important it is to have sun protection between you and the sun.  

Start With A Wide Brimmed Hat

Common sense will make you aware that your head and face are the points that the sun will get to first on your body.  You need a sun blocking hat.  One with a 3-inch brim is better.  Hats are better than caps which are better than nothing at all. 

This business of awareness and responsibility is important for your and your family.  As you make the wardrobe changes to protect your families skin from sun damage, don’t neglect yourself.  You teach better by showing and modelling how you want your family to protect their body.  Don’t just talk about it.  Do it!  

Where is your sun protecting hat?  That basal cell carcinoma is a good reminder of what happens to skin with too much exposure to the sun. 

Sunglasses Are Important

Sunglasses are a very important part of your and your families sun protection.  You must help your family learn to protect their eyes.

There will be some protection for your eyes when you are wearing a wide-brimmed hat, but dangers from the sun’s rays make this not enough.  Your eyes need more protection.  That protection is offered by a pair of sunglasses that have broad-spectrum protection. 

A new beginning for sun protection.  This is a new awareness of the dangers of the sun.  Now you know that more is needed than you are accustomed to doing for protection from the sun for you and your family.  How will you do a better job of helping your family protect their skin?

A Sun Blocking Shirt

The next item to add to your sun blocking defence is a shirt.  Covering the trunk of your body is the next step after your hat and sunglasses. The trunk of your body is the next part that will sunburn fastest after the head, face, ears, and nose.  Of course, your eyes are especially prone to overexposure. 

Unfortunately, eye damage does not look like the blistered skin that you recognize as sunburn on your face or shoulders.  The damage done to the eyes is often overlooked as it does not show up in blisters as the skin gets.  Even if you can’t see it immediately, the eye damage is also accumulative.  This accumulative damage will continue to make a difference in your vision with repeated exposure.  Wear your sunglasses.

Again, as the closest to the sun is first the head, then eyes and then the upper torso of your body.  These parts of your body need protection first. 

Use Shadows

Think about the shadow way of measuring sun danger.  When you are in the sun and see no shadow, you are at the closest you will be to the sun.  As your shadow gets longer, the sun is moving from directly over you. 

You can help your kids to know about using the sun to ensure a safer time for them to be out.  In the morning before 10 AM, the shadows will be longer and therefore safer for them to be out.  In the afternoon after 4 PM, it also gets safer for them to be out. 

The hours between 10 AM and 4 PM result in shorter shadows and is when it is an unsafe time for them to be out.  Outside times during short shadow times require more skin protection.  You as the aware parent can help them to be aware of this.  At this time they will need sun hats, sunglasses and a sun blocking shirt.  

Yes, Sunscreen Is Important Too
  • Sunscreen is important and should be used with sun blocking hats, shirts and glasses. However, enough sunscreen must be applied to protect the skin. Then you will need to reapply after a short while, to keep you safe.
  • Sun blocking clothing will do a great job of helping you protect yourself without reapplication. Of course, you have to wear your wide-brimmed hat, your sunglasses and sun blocking shirt.
  • Our skin protection against the sun needs a toolbox. A toolbox that supports and protects your skin. Awareness will help to make sure you use the tools you have to protect you and your family.
Do You Remember What Basal Carcinoma Looks Like?

As you remember to check your body for the open leisons that don’t heal on the parts of your body where you get repeated sun exposure, remain aware.

Remember what the Basal Cell Carcinoma looks like.  Pay attention and help you and your family develop some changes that will protect everyones skin. Add the awareness of sun blocking clothing as well as sunscreen to help you stay healthy.

Your Sun Protection Tool Box should include:

  • Awareness:  Dangers of sun, most dangerous hours, how to protect our skin, not drinking enough water. Seek shade. Reschedule outdoor activities to non peak sunshine time of day. 
  • Wide-brimed sun hat:  A wide (3″ or wider) brimmed hat.)  A light weight hoodie is better than nothing on your head.
  • Sunglasses: Broad sprectrum and sun blocking 
  • Sun Blocking Shirt:  Loose fitting and long sleeved tightly woven fabrid.  Loose fitting to allow air flow around your body.  
Skin Cancer Most Preventable

Skin cancer is like cigarette smoking. It is caused by an identifiable action.  Sun exposure to the point of being a danger is the leading cause of skin cancer.  We start with our life of overexposure just like we start smoking, out of ignorance and unawareness.

Ignorance or unawareness for either of these physical conditions is no longer acceptable. Skin cancer does not kill as many people as cancer from smoking, but if untreated it can lead to death.  The two situations are the results of lifestyle choices. 

What will your choices be as you move into this coming summertime season?  Will you be making choices based on awareness and protect your skin?  Then what about your families skin?  Do you plan to share some ways to help them have healthier skin throughout their lifetime?

—And just a word of caution, this article did not touch on the lack of ozone layer and the part it plays for your healthy future.

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