"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

4 Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer (Besides Sunscreen)

It's almost May and here within the Northeast, the pharmacy aisles are crammed with countless brands and sorts of sunscreen. While sunscreen is important to reducing your risk of skin cancer, there are other easy, over-the-counter options you’ll be able to add to your summer skincare routine.

Nicotinamide may help prevent certain skin cancers.

Nicotinamide is a type of vitamin B.3 which has been shown to scale back the variety of skin cancers. In a ___ A randomized controlled trial Performed in Australia (published in New England Journal of Medicine), the risks of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma were significantly reduced – as much as 23%. Nicotinamide has protective effects against ultraviolet damage from sunlight. The vitamin is secure and may be purchased over-the-counter. We recommend starting vitamins (500 mg twice every day) in all our patients with a history of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, or with extensive skin damage as a consequence of sun exposure. One caveat is that the vitamin have to be taken repeatedly, as the advantages are lost once stopped.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs, reminiscent of ibuprofen and aspirin, can have a modest effect on skin cancer prevention. A scientific review showed that the chance of squamous cell carcinoma was reduced by 15% with non-aspirin NSAIDs and by 18% with any NSAID. Some melanoma studies have also shown positive results. One found a 43 percent reduction in melanoma with continuous aspirin for five years, while other studies have failed to indicate a discount in risk. NSAIDs are known to inhibit an enzyme answerable for inflammation and pain, called COX-2, which is overexpressed in squamous cell carcinomas. A limitation of many studies on NSAIDs in skin cancer is that the dose of NSAID varies. Especially in high doses, NSAIDs are related to other negative effects, reminiscent of ulcers, and so I don’t routinely recommend that my patients take these drugs to scale back their risk of skin cancer.

Polypodium leucotomos

Polypodium leucotomos is a tropical fern present in Central and South America that has antioxidative, immunomodulatory, and anti inflammatory effects, and is being marketed as an oral “sunscreen.” Oh A recent small study Fern extract reversed the results of UVB light (a more carcinogenic type of ultraviolet light) to various degrees in 17 of twenty-two patients. However, it will be significant to acknowledge that this study has limitations. First, it was unable to measure UVA light, which causes skin cancer. Second, it’s difficult to find out essentially the most appropriate dose from studies. Participants received two doses of 240 mg. Polypodium leucotomos Two hours and one hour before exposure to ultraviolet, however it is just not clear easy methods to advise patients to make use of it. So, you might be wondering, do I like to recommend this to my patients? The answer is, not yet. But I plan to try the extract on myself and my husband (who has a history of skin cancer) this summer. Just take note, it won't replace sunscreen and sun protective clothing.

Watch your alcohol intake

Although alcohol is just not a classic “over the counter” product, it has been within the highlight over the past yr, because it is estimated that alcohol is answerable for 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths. Two meta-analyses suggested an association between skin cancer and alcohol intake. A study found that the chance of basal cell carcinoma increased by 7% and the chance of squamous cell carcinoma by 11% for every standard beer or small glass of wine per day. Another study found a 20 percent increase in melanoma amongst heavy drinkers, and the chance increased with the variety of drinks. However, these studies didn’t take note of other aspects that might affect the outcomes, a few of which couldn’t be measured. An example is that ultraviolet light is the first factor that increases basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, and alcohol consumption is related to behaviors that increase the chance of sunburn. So what’s the advice? The American Cancer Society recommends limiting alcohol consumption to at least one drink per day for ladies and two drinks per day for men.

And you continue to need sunscreen!

Since we still haven't found a magic bullet that completely prevents sunburn and eliminates the chance of skin cancer, that is my plug for old school sunscreen. Sunscreen has been shown to scale back each melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Randomized prospective studies in Australia showed that folks who used sunscreen every day had a 50% reduction in melanoma and a 40% reduction in squamous cell carcinoma, compared with individuals who used sunscreen intermittently. do So when sunny and warm weather beckons, remember to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with no less than SPF 30 before going out within the sun, reapply every two hours, and apply liberally: 1 teaspoon per arm , head and neck, front torso, and back; And 2 teaspoons in each leg.