Preventing a Recurrence
After you've been treated for skin cancer, you will return to your plastic surgeon's office for regular follow-up visits to make sure the cancer hasn't recurred. It's important to keep these appointments so that your surgeon can assess your long-term results and address any questions or concerns you may have. In the meantime, it's up to you to reduce your risk of skin cancer recurrence by taking the following precautions.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially between 10a.m. and 2 p.m. and during the summer months. Remember, ultraviolet rays pass right through water and clouds, and reflect off sand and snow.
- When you do go out for an extended period of time, wear protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats and long sleeves.
- On any exposed skin, use a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15. Apply it liberally, about an hour before you go out, and reapply it frequently, especially after you've been swimming or sweating.
- Finally, examine your skin regularly. If you find anything suspicious, consult a plastic surgeon or dermatologist as soon as possible.