Integrative Skin Cancer Prevention

What is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is a common medical concern worldwide. It is categorized into two main groups: melanoma and non-melanoma. Nonmelanoma skin cancers are predominantly basal cell or squamous cell cancers.

Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Cancers

These are the most common forms of skin cancer and frequently grow on body parts exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays, either from natural sunlight or artificial sources like tanning beds. The cumulative impact of UV exposure over the years is the primary risk factor, causing skin cells to grow abnormally. Manifestations of these cancers include red, scaly patches or tender pink or brown “pearly” bumps that may bleed and resist healing. While these cancers tend to progress slowly, their timely treatment is vital. Left untreated, they can grow substantially and, in rare cases, metastasize to other body regions. Common treatments range from topical chemotherapy creams to surgery and, occasionally, radiation.


Distinctly more severe than its counterparts, melanoma can surface on any skin part, even those shielded from UV exposure. People with lighter skin tones are more susceptible, and familial history can also increase your risk. Key culprits include UV exposure, particularly sporadic, intense exposure. Unlike other skin cancers, Melanomas often appear as dark brown or black moles. Noteworthy signs indicating an abnormal mole or potential melanoma are based on the A, B, C, D, Es:

Asymmetry: Uneven halves.

Border: Ragged or indistinct borders.

Color: Varied shades, ranging from light browns to deep blacks, reds, or blues.

Diameter: Exceeding 6 mm, roughly the size of a pencil eraser.

Evolving: Moles that undergo noticeable changes in size, shape, or hue.

If a mole or skin spot raises concerns, getting a biopsy is crucial, followed by surgical removal. Should melanoma be diagnosed, treatment depends on its depth. Thinner melanomas might require minimal surgical intervention, but thicker ones necessitate a thorough examination of the lymph nodes for potential spread. Given the potential side effects, some patients might also require chemotherapy or radiation, but a collaborative treatment plan with a trusted medical team is crucial. We recommend treating active skin cancers with a traditional medical and surgical approach and using integrative options to prevent future skin cancers from developing.


The foundation for safeguarding against skin cancer lies in shielding your skin from UV radiation. Whether from natural sunlight or artificial tanning beds, UV radiation is the primary culprit behind most skin cancers. To effectively protect your skin:

  • Limit Sun Exposure: Especially between 10 a.m. and 2-4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense.
  • Wear Protective Gear: Choose long-sleeved clothing and wide-brimmed hats to cover as much skin as possible.
  • Opt for Sunscreen: Always choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above. Remember to reapply frequently, ideally every 2 hours or after getting wet.
  • Be Wary of Cloudy Days: UV rays can pierce through the clouds, and they can also bounce off surfaces like snow, sand, and water. Hence, wearing sunscreen is essential even if the sun isn’t shining brightly.
  • Skip the Tanning Bed: Despite their popularity, tanning beds significantly increase your risk of skin cancer.


Identifying skin cancer in its initial stages significantly enhances the chances of effective treatment. To ensure you catch any signs early:

  • Self-examination: Regularly inspect your skin for unfamiliar spots, moles, or changes. The American Cancer Society, the American Academy of Dermatology, and the Skin Cancer Foundation all emphasize the importance of this practice. See your dermatologist if there are any changes or concerns.
  • Professional Examination: For those with a history of skin cancer or identified high-risk, periodic check-ups with a clinician are essential.

Integrative Prevention of Skin Cancer

In the heart of Austin, Texas, at Nature of Skin Dermatology, we’re pioneering an approach that combines traditional treatments with holistic methodologies. We aim to treat the symptoms and the whole individual, including lifestyle, diet, and overall well-being. By embracing an integrative stance, we believe in providing our patients with comprehensive solutions encompassing the best of both worlds: modern dermatological science and age-old natural wisdom. Join us in exploring a harmonious path to skin health and wellness.


Low-Fat, Anti-Inflammatory/Mediterranean Diet

A nutritious diet plays a major role in preventing and managing skin cancer. Our medical practitioners have observed the correlation between dietary fat and the occurrence of non-melanoma skin cancers. Our findings indicate lower dietary fat intake may reduce non-melanoma skin cancer rates and its precursors. Transitioning to a Mediterranean-style diet, which emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and limited fats and animal proteins, can offer protection against melanoma development.

Plant-based Diets

Nature provides plenty of plant compounds that exhibit cancer prevention properties. Elements like EGCG (sourced from green tea), resveratrol, and curcumin are just a few. Although we currently lack human-centric studies to evaluate the direct impact of these compounds on melanoma, it is reasonable to believe that a diet enriched with plant-based foods could potentially help reduce skin cancer risk. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, have been linked to reduced UV-induced carcinogenic changes and inflammation. These fatty acids also demonstrate an inhibitory effect on the growth and spread of melanoma cells. While it’s preferable to source omega-3s from foods, supplements can be an alternative when food sources are scarce. 


Beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A, has been many studies’ focus due to its potential anticancer benefits. Regular consumption of beta-carotene-rich foods has been linked to lower cancer rates. However, results have been inconclusive regarding direct supplementation or measuring blood levels in skin cancer patients. That said, beta-carotene-rich foods like leafy greens, carrots, and sweet potatoes are not just high in antioxidants but also in fiber, both of which are quintessential for health and reduce inflammation.

Other Carotenoids

Lutein and zeaxanthin stand out in the carotenoid family, not just for the vibrant hues they impart to fruits and vegetables but also for their potential protective effects against skin cancer. They play a promising role in reducing skin cancer risk.

For those keen on adding these carotenoids to their diet:

  • Lutein Sources: Spinach, kale, broccoli, kiwi, orange pepper, grapes, zucchini, and squash.
  • Zeaxanthin Sources: Kale, parsley, spinach, broccoli, and peas.


Experience Comprehensive Care at Nature of Skin Dermatology, Where Holistic Dermatology and Advanced Techniques Come Together!

At Nature of Skin Dermatology in Austin, Texas, our mission goes beyond traditional medical approaches. As a leading integrative dermatologist, we combine the strengths of holistic dermatology with the precision of contemporary practices. Embracing natural dermatology principles, our functional medicine dermatologist team ensures each patient receives tailored care. If you’ve been searching for a ‘naturopathic dermatologist near me’ or an ‘integrative dermatologist near me,’ your journey ends here.

Join us at our holistic dermatology clinic and experience comprehensive care that puts your well-being at the forefront. 


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Disclaimer:  The information provided on the site is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you are seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.