Though skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, it is also highly treatable and preventable when taking the right precautions. By monitoring your skin frequently and taking preventative measures (such as using sunblock), you can reduce your risk of getting skin cancer.

First and foremost, try to avoid the sun as much as you can. Seek the shade provided by trees, beach umbrellas or buildings wherever possible. Wear hats and lightweight clothing to cover your skin, protecting it from the sun’s rays that could cause lesions leading to skin cancer.

Be aware that even when the sky is cloudy that you can still suffer from the effects of the sun. It is possible to burn your skin when it is cloudy outside. The same is true with swimming pools. Even if you are in the water, you can easily be sunburned.

One of the most effective ways to prevent skin cancer is to apply sunscreen. You should make sure to be wearing at least SPF 15 when in the sun, or stronger sunscreen depending on how easily you burn. Also, be sure to reapply after swimming, or if you are sweating heavily.

Make sure that you protect the delicate skin of children. Children who are under six months old cannot wear sunscreen on their skin. Keep them out of the direct sunlight at all times and keep their skin covered. When they are old enough to wear sunscreen make sure that they have it on every time they go out to play in the sun. Warn your children of the dangers of sunlight and tell them to stay in the shade whenever possible.

Keep an eye on your skin for any changes to the growths that are preexisting or new ones that appear suddenly. Watch for growths that increase in size or become irregular in shape. You should also watch for transparent or multicolored growths on your skin. If you have wounds or cuts on your skin that will not heal have them checked out by your doctor.

Make a routine check of your skin a regular part of your doctor’s visit. You should make sure you examine your skin every month. This is one of the best ways to prevent skin cancer. You are your own best advocate for your health. Make sure you keep an eye on your skin and your health and get treatment immediately if you develop a problem.