We are lucky to live in a period in history where the average lifespan has been on a steady incline. Labor statistics reveal that employment of workers aged 65 or older has grown by more than a hundred percent in a span of 20 years. Skin cancer, also termed melanoma, mostly developes in Caucasian men over 55 years old. Epidemiological, biological and molecular data all point to skin cancer as predominantly a disease of the elderly, with more than half of skin cancer-related deaths occuring in persons more than 65 years old. The longer people live, the more likely they are to develop skin cancer, and the higher the death rate. With such worrying statistics, it is worthy to take steps to shield your loved ones from the dangers of melanoma from today. Read on to find out how you can help them protect their skin.
Monitor Your Skin Diligently
Tell your elderly loved ones to search their skin for suspicious growths by conducting a head-to-toe self-examination once a month and visiting the dermatologist for an annual professional examination. This will give them the best chance of discovering skin cancer at an early, easily treatable stage. Pay attention to any moles or growths that are changing in color or size, especially to those with an irregular border or multiple colors. Persistent pain, irritation, itching, bleeding or crusting at any site on the skin should also be brought to their dermatologist’s attention, as well as any new lesion appearing after age 40.
There are excellent scientific studies that reveals the conclusion that sunscreen offers protection against all three of the most common skin cancers: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. For instance, in prospective studies of sunscreen, the incidence of squamous cell carcinoma is reduced the most—as much as 40% over four years.
Before going outside, apply sunscreen with broad spectrum protection and a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. SPF 30 sunscreen will protect their skin against sunburn while broad spectrum protection defends against all types of sun rays. Reapply every two hours for the best protection. They can also reinforce their sun protection by wearing UV filter clothing, donning hats and umbrellas when it is very sunny outdoors.
Stay in the Shade
Spending time outdoors is good for our emotional and mental health. However, they should still try to find a spot in the shade, such as under a tree or a covered porch, particularly from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. when the sun is the strongest. This gets them the benefits of being outdoors while minimizing direct sun contact and its accompanying dangers.
Enjoy Peace of Mind
Our assisted living community takes care of the physical, mental and emotional health of our members. When you place your elderly loved ones with us, you can be rest assured that they will enjoy the best care. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to find out more about the comprehensive range of services we provide at our assisted living community today!