Being diagnosed with melanoma was likely one of the scariest things that has ever happened to you. Now that you have been through treatment and are in remission, you're probably feeling quite relieved. But as your doctor has surely told you, there is always a chance that your melanoma could come back. There is no way to guard against this completely, but there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of recurrence.
1. Wear long-sleeves, hats, etc.
If you don't already do so, get into the habit of wearing more clothing to shield your body from UV rays. Buy some thinner long-sleeved shirts so you feel comfortable wearing them on days when it's a little chilly outside. Buy some hats you love, so you wear them more often. A hat with a wide brim is best because it not only protects your eyes, but it also protects your face and neck. Keep a spare hat in your car in case you forget and leave the house without another one.
2. Wear your sunglasses.
Did you know you can get melanoma of the eye, too? There are some melanocytes in your eye—they give it color. These melanocytes, like the ones in your skin, are prone to melanoma, especially after being exposed to UV rays. Visit an eye doctor to get a pair of sunglasses that fit perfectly to your face—they will be more comfortable, so you'll be more likely to wear them. Keep spare pairs in your car, at work, and in your bag. Become the guy or gal that always seems to have their sunglasses on.
3. Find a sunscreen you love.
Most cheap sunscreens feel greasy and slimy, which does not make you want to wear them very often. But wearing sunscreen is vital if you want to avid a melanoma relapse. Find a higher-end sunscreen you love, so you're more inclined to wear it. The nice ones just feel like a light moisturizer. It's worth paying a little more since this product is necessary for your protection and health.
4. Go to your doctor for screenings.
This step won't technically prevent melanoma, but it will ensure that if it does come back, it is detected as early as possible so that treatment is simple. Go to a melanoma cancer service for regular screenings every year or as recommended. If you see anything at all suspicious on your skin, call your doctor as soon as possible.