Exfoliate Skin to Prevent Skin Cancer

Posted 05/18/2012 | By HealthCorps

Though most consumers associate skin exfoliation with a beauty regimen, exfoliating your skin may help to reduce the risk of certain skin cancers. Using a glycolic acid based cream or lotion may help to reduce the presence of actinic keratoses – skin lesions that can develop into squamous cell cancer. Your best bet is to use a 20% glycolic acid preparation, available in many stores and online. Always patch test a small area of your skin (especially facial skin) once or twice to make sure you can tolerate the preparation. And be clear on the recommended frequency of use, since overuse can actually damage your skin over time.

Coming soon: New labeling on products that advertise “protecting your skin from sun exposure.” Expect to see sunscreen not sun block as the new advertised term, since no preparation provides complete protection from both UVA and UVB rays. You will still see an SPF measurement, and you should look for a product that says “broad spectrum,” which means it filters UVA and UVB rays. Pay close attention to whether it is water resistant (no product is completely waterproof), and how often the label suggests it should be reapplied.

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