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Redheads: Get to grips with your skin cancer risk

by , 04 June 2013

2 June was Cancer Survivors' Day. If you have red hair and pale skin, you can make sure you join the ranks of cancer survivors across the globe by understanding your skin cancer risk - even in winter - and taking preventative action. Here're three ways to minimise your skin cancer risk…

Blondes and redheads with pale skin are seen as some of the most beautiful women in the world as they’re so delicate.

It’s their pale skin that many see as a sign of true beauty.

But this same pale skin puts you at risk of skin cancer and melanoma, says The Washington Examiner.

That’s because fair hair usually pairs up with fair skin that burns easily in the sun and this raises the risk for skin cancer.

But if you’re a redhead, you have an even greater skin cancer risk…

That’s because you’re likely to have less eumelanin and more pheomelanin, adds The Washington Examiner.

Eumelanin is a specific skin pigment that shields you from the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays. Pheomelanin, on the other hand, is less protective.

That’s why you need to make sure you’re doing all you can to protect your skin from harmful UV rays – even in winter.

Skin cancer dos this winter

Skin cancer do #1: Apply enough sunblock

No matter what the weather, it’s good idea to use at least SPF 15 sunblock on all your exposed parts, like your face, ears, neck and hands whenever you're out in the sun.

But most people don’t apply enough sunblock. To make sure you’ve applied enough, you’ll need to put on about a teaspoon of sunscreen for each limb, a teaspoon for the front of your body and another one for your back, says FSPHealth.

Skin cancer do #2: Take aspirin twice a week

Weird but true: Taking aspirin twice a week can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer by 21%. According the Dr Jean Tang of Stanford University School of Medicine's Cancer Institute, author behind this study, “these findings suggest that aspirin may have a chemopreventive effect against the development of melanoma,” reports ABC News.

But don’t exceed this dose, as you’ll be setting yourself up for a cycle of rebound headaches.

Skin cancer do #3: Avoid tanning beds, UV lamps and gel manicures!
Avoid tanning beds as they expose you to the same harmful UV rays of the sun that cause skin cancer.

But that’s not the only salon treatment you need to avoid. You see, gel manicures increase your risk of skin cancer too if UV lamps are used to set the thick polish.

That’s why it’s best to embrace your natural beauty and go

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