Top Skin Cancer Prevention Tips

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, affecting more people every year than all other types of cancer combined. Most cases of skin cancer are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. This radiation comes from the sun as well as from some artificial sources like tanning beds.

Though it’s difficult to avoid UV rays entirely, you can prevent damage to the skin and detect skin cancer early to reduce your chances of getting the disease and increase the likelihood of successful treatment. Here are five easy skin cancer prevention and early detection tips you can use to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Stay in the Shade

One of the easiest ways to limit exposure to UV radiation is to stay in the shade. The sun’s rays are strongest in the late spring and early summer and between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily. While it’s healthy to spend time outside, be mindful of how long you spend in the sun during these periods, and stay in the shade when you can.

Cover up With Clothing

The clothes you wear can also help protect your skin from damaging UV rays. When spending time outside, wear clothes that cover most of the skin. Protect the face and neck by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and protect the eyes by wearing sunglasses that provide UV protection.

Choose a Good Sunscreen, and Apply It Properly

It’s not always possible to stay in the shade or wear covering clothes, especially if you work outside. As a result, wearing sunscreen is an important part of skin cancer prevention. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher every day and SPF 30 or higher during extended outdoor activity.

Put on sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours and after swimming and excessive sweating. Make sure to check the expiration date and avoid leaving the bottle in the sun or heat, as this can reduce its effectiveness.

Avoid Tanning and Tanning Beds

Tanning can damage the skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. Avoid tanning outside, and never use a tanning bed. If you still want to tan, use bronzers or self-tanning lotions approved for cosmetic use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) instead. These products don’t require sun exposure to work.

Check Your Skin Regularly

Early detection of skin cancer can help improve your chances of overcoming the disease. Examine your skin monthly to look for spots that have appeared or changed in shape, size or color. If you notice an unusual spot, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor. You can also see a medical professional for a yearly skin exam.

At Hamilton Health Center, we provide affordable physical exams for all Central Pennsylvania residents. We believe everyone deserves access to healthcare, which is why our multicultural and bilingual staff members work hard to make Hamilton Health Center your home for health. If you’re worried about skin cancer or have questions about skin cancer prevention, make an appointment with us today.

How to Manage Diabetes

In honor of Defeat Diabetes Month (April 2018), we’d like to offer some tips for those living with Type I and Type II Diabetes.

Managing Diabetes

When you have an illness like diabetes, it can be hard to accept that there’s currently no permanent medical cure for the disease. There are two major types of diabetes. With type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the body neither produces nor utilizes insulin well.

If you’re wondering how to fix diabetes now that you have a sugar problem, here are some tips that can teach you how to manage type I and type II diabetes.

How to Manage Type 1 Diabetes

Managing type 1 diabetes involves the following:

Taking Insulin

Anyone with type 1 diabetes must take insulin for life. Unfortunately, insulin cannot be received through oral tablets. Since the stomach enzymes will break it down, you must receive it through an insulin pump or via injections.

Doing Regular Blood Sugar Monitoring

You need to monitor and keep a record of your blood sugar for a minimum of four times daily. The American Diabetes Association recommends that you monitor your blood sugar before snacks or meals, just before going to bed and before doing any workout or driving.

Eating Health Boosting Foods

While there’s no real diabetic diet, you need to base your daily diet on highly nutritious foods rich in fiber and low in fat, such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Your dietitian will usually suggest you consume fewer refined carbohydrates like sweets and white bread, as well as fewer animal products.

You need to constantly count the number of carbohydrates in the foods you consume so you can use this measure to determine the amount of insulin you’ll require afterward. Consult our experienced dietitian now to help you create a new meal plan that will satisfy your needs.

Maintaining an Exercise Routine for a Healthy Weight

First, consult your doctor to determine if it’s OK to start doing regular exercise. Then, select a few activities like swimming, walking or jogging, and include them in your daily routine. Strive for at least 20 to 25 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, and avoid going more than two days without exercise.

How to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

The management of this kind of diabetes involves the following:

Eating a Healthy Diet

Base your diet on foods that are high in fiber and low in fat, such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Eat fewer animal products and refined carbs. Also, low glycemic-index foods will help you achieve stable blood sugar levels.

Doing Regular Exercise

With the consent of your doctor, you should start a daily exercise program. Activities like cycling, walking, swimming and running could help you make physical activity a part of your daily routine. You should do aerobic exercise for about half an hour daily, five days a week.

Monitoring Blood Sugar

Depending on the type of treatment plan you’re on, you need to monitor your blood sugar at least twice daily. If you’re taking insulin, you need to do this several times a day. Ask your doctor to state the number of times you should monitor your blood sugar daily.

Taking Diabetes Medication/Insulin Therapy

Some patients can achieve their desired blood sugar levels with improvements in their diet and exercise only, while others also need insulin therapy and diabetes medications. The severity of your condition will determine which form of therapy is best.

We Can Help

At Hamilton Healthcare, we offer a one-stop health care solution for everyone. If you’re living with diabetes, we can provide all the information, care, medication and counseling you need to live a healthy life. We’re waiting to help you. Give us a call at 717-232-9971 now.

Did You Wash Your Hands?

Handwashing at a Glance

December 3 – 9, 2017 is National Handwashing Awareness Week, and we at Hamilton Health wanted to share some informative tips regarding handwashing!

Hand washing is supposed to be a daily routine. You should wash your hands after leaving the bathroom, before you eat and when you’ve finished working in your garden. But a study conducted by Michigan State University showed that only 5 percent of people are following hand washing best practices. This 5 percent are the only ones who wash their hands long enough to destroy any disease-causing bacteria and germs. A survey by Bradley Corporation showed that only 66 percent of Americans wash their hands.

The statistics from the developing world are quite discouraging. One in five deaths of newly born babies occurs due to poor hygiene and could be drastically reduced by proper hand washing. Only 35 percent of health facilities in developing countries have soap for hand washing. And about 760,000 kids under age 5 die annually due to diarrhea, according to WHO.

How Often Should I Wash My Hands?

Many diseases can be prevented with proper hand hygiene. Use clean running water and soap to wash your hands. When both are not available, use a hand sanitizer. You should always wash your hands:

  • After touching any garbage, dirt, debris or after working in your garden.
  • After holding pet treats or pet food so you don’t carry around germs and bacteria that can cause allergic reactions
  • After handling any animal, animal waste or animal feed so you can prevent the spread of bacteria that are present in animal fur, waste and food
  • After sneezing or coughing or using your handkerchief or tissue to blow your nose to stop the transfer of germs that can cause other people to cough and sneeze
  • After using the bathroom or toilet to reduce the risk of spreading germs from fecal matter
  • Before you dress a cut or a wound and after you are through
  • Before you take care of a sick person and after you are through
  • Before eating any food so that germs picked up from the environment will not be transferred to the body while eating
  • Before you start preparing food and at the end of each cooking session

How to Wash Hands

Hand washing saves lives, but that’s only when it’s done correctly. Following basic hand washing rules and using the proper technique will reduce flu and cold risk. It’ll also stop the transmission of foodborne diseases and infections in hospitals and cruise ships.

Here’s an outline of the best way to wash hands as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Wet: Turn your tap on so the running water (it may be cold or warm) can get your hands wet. Turn off your faucet and apply soap to your hands.
  • Lather: Lather the soap on each hand by rubbing your palms together with soap. Ensure that you lather the back of each hand. Lather the space underneath your nails and in between your fingers.
  • Scrub: Scrub your two hands for about 20 or more seconds. If you want to estimate the time, sing the “Happy Birthday” song to yourself two times from beginning to the end. Scrubbing dislodges germs from the hands.
  • Rinse: Turn on the tap and rinse each hand thoroughly under running water. Thorough rinsing removes both germs and soap, which should not stay on the skin for a long time.
  • Dry: Dry both hands with an air dryer or a clean towel.

Come to Us!

At Hamilton Healthcare, we offer family dental services that take care of the routine and special dental needs of all adults and children in your family. We run a Federal Qualified Health Center and we offer health care with special family-oriented, multi-cultural, and multi-lingual services. Contact us now at Hamilton Healthcare for family health services and counseling by dialing (717) 232-9971.