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Did you know that skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer? In fact, 1 in every 5 people will get some type of skin cancer by the age of 70. If you caring for an elderly adult, it is important that you do what you can to help them to prevent melanoma, one of the most fatal types of skin cancer.  

Using Sunscreen

Elder Care Villanova, PA: Melanoma Prevention

While many elderly adults in this day and age didn’t wear sunscreen while they were growing up, it is very important that they do so now. You and your loved one’s elder care providers should remind them to always wear sunscreen when going outside or when taking a ride in a vehicle. This will help to prevent skin cancer from developing.  

In addition to wearing sunscreen, you should make sure your elderly loved one is wearing enough sunscreen. Some elderly adults will only apply a little bit of sunscreen and think that is enough. Others won’t reapply it after being outside for a length of time. You should make sure your elderly loved one reapplies their sunscreen every 2 to 4 hours, if they are outside that long. If they sweat a lot or if they are swimming, it should be even more than that.  

Wear Proper Clothing 

You should also make sure that your elderly loved one is wearing the appropriate clothing outdoors, as well. The clothes that often work best in direct sun is lightweight clothing, made with dense fabric. Some clothing items even have SPF put into them. It would also be a great idea for your loved one to wear a hat that covers their face from the sun. Lastly, you will want to make sure your loved one covers up the top of their feet. Many elderly adults forget to do this and will get skin cancer.  

Avoid Going in the Sun During Peak Hours 

If at all possible, you should avoid letting your elderly loved one go in the sun during peak hours. The sun is generally strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Try to get your elderly loved one outside during the early morning hours or later in the evening if possible.  

Doing a Self-Exam 

Head-to-toe skin exams should be done on the elderly at least once every month. You should check for any unusual or oddly shaped spots. Suspicious spots will be different colors, increase in size, or have irregular borders.  

Annual Dermatologist Appointment 

Some doctors recommend that elderly adults get an annual dermatologist appointment to get their skin checked for suspicious changes. While your loved one could see their regular doctor with concerns they have, dermatologists are better trained in this area. 

These are some of the ways you can help with melanoma prevention for your elderly loved one. Be sure to talk to your loved one about how they can work on preventing skin cancer today. 


If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Villanova, PA please contact the caring staff at Correct Choice Home Care today at (267) 323-1700. 



Joshua Walker, MBA