Preparing for a day in the sun includes lathering on sunscreen, grabbing a pair of shorts, and putting on sunglasses. As summer approaches there are a few things you need to keep in mind when soaking up rays. The sun provides great warmth from ultraviolet rays (UV). Spending time in the sun is important, but it’s equally good to be aware of protecting your skin. Our lips in particular are something we might not think to protect. More importantly, men and women are at risk for lip cancer. Let’s cover a few important tips for lip protection before heading to the beach.
Are Men and Women at Risk for Lip Cancer?
Lip cancer targets both sexes. In fact, studies show that men might be more at risk for lip cancer than women. The reason behind this is that women tend to wear more lip wear such as, lipstick, lip-gloss, and lip balm. This daily application protects lips from sun damage and cracking. Men who use SPF protecting lip applicators are at a much lower risk for having damaged lips in the future.
What Causes Lip Cancer?
Smoking and chewing tobacco greatly increases you risk of lip cancer. The tobacco is not good for lips because it causes irritation to the skin. Eventually, sores or bleeding will occur and it’s very hard to heal these abrasions. If you are someone who has an occupation that requires long hours outdoors in the sun you should apply SPF lip balm on a regular basis. The damages from unprotected lips exposed to UV rays are detrimental. Lip cancer is a deadly form of cancer because it spreads to the lymph nodes in the neck. Excessive tanning can be especially dangerous due to speeding up a skin pigment known as, melanin. Your skin tans to protect itself and too much sun can be harmful.
5 Tips for Healthy Lips
- Protect lips with SPF
- Avoid overexposure to the sun
- Treat chapped lips
- Dentist are trained to notice warning signs
- Keep well hydrated
Signs for Sun Damaged Lips
Typical signs include sore lips, chapped lips, bleeding, and discoloration of lips. People with blue eyes, light colored hair, and fair complexion need to be more aware of the dangers of overexposure to the sun. Pay attention to the color of your lips, if they darken in color or begin to hurt you might want to have a checkup. Most people that don’t go outside often because they work indoors need to be aware of sun damage too. There are new exfoliating lip products on the market that help remedy chapped lips or sores on lips. Most of these are easy to apply by using just your toothbrush for application. You don’t need to be aggressive, gentle circular motions for 30 seconds with leave your lips feeling clean and tingly.
How to Protect Lips
Knowing when you might be dehydrated is important. Drinking enough water is something many people neglect. When you start feeling thirsty it’s too late. Your whole mouth begins to feels dry and lips begin to chap. There are a few natural remedies that can help seal and protect lips. Honey on your lips will cool and sooth lips. When you have a cold and it’s hard to breath out of you noses you dreadfully resort to mouth breathing. This could be why many people crave lemon tea and honey when sick.
Visiting the Dentist
You might feel pain from a clear open sore around your lips or a dentist might point something out. Top Dentists state that when you visit the dentist regularly you instantly lower your risk for lip cancer. There are a series of tests that include: MRI, Computed Tomography (CT) scan, Blood Tests, or X-Rays. These tests with help determine if cancer has spread beyond the lip area, the earlier the diagnosis the better. Treatment doesn’t need to be as invasive if cancer is caught in an early stage. Most people won’t get lip cancer from just sun exposure. There are a lot of other factors your dentist will cover with you like drinking too much alcohol. It’s important to be scheduling check-ups regularly and always mention any bizarre things you might begin to notice. If you don’t bring it up your dentist might not catch everything.