Leesburg Senior Home Care Blog

Could Vitamin A Help Prevent Skin Cancer?

By Kaltoon Essa

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in the United States. It is usually caused by exposure to the sun’s rays. While there are many ways to prevent skin cancer, new research suggests that it may be possible to increase the chances of your aging relative avoiding skin cancer by increasing the amount of vitamin A in their diet.

Vitamin A and Skin Cancer

Researchers at Brown University conducted a study involving approximately 125,000 people. About 75,000 were women and 50,000 were men. The average age of the participants was the early 50s. In response to surveys, the participants provided researchers with information about their diets and the supplements they took. The results of the study showed that people who consumed the most vitamin A lowered their risk of squamous cell skin cancer by about 15 percent.

The scientists suggest that eating a healthy diet is the best way to increase vitamin A intake. Vitamin A is found in fruits and vegetables. Some good sources of vitamin A are:

  • Sweet potatoes.
  • Cantaloupe.
  • Sweet red peppers.
  • Carrots.
  • Broccoli.
  • Spinach.
  • Black-eyed peas.

Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer

The study doesn’t conclusively prove that increasing vitamin A will prevent skin cancer, but it certainly can’t hurt to add some more healthy fruits and vegetables to your aging relative’s diet. Of course, there are also plenty of other ways to prevent skin cancer.

Experts suggest that the best way to reduce the chances of getting skin cancer is to protect skin from the sun. Some ways to prevent damage from the sun’s rays are:

  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours when out in the sun.
  • Avoid being out in the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Wear clothing that protects the skin from the sun, such as light weight long-sleeved shirts and pants. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses will protect the face and eyes.
  • Check skin monthly for new or changing moles or spots.
  • Ask the doctor to perform an annual check of the skin for suspicious spots.

Home care can assist with skin cancer prevention in your older family member. A home care provider can cook healthy meals that contain fruits and vegetables with vitamin A. Home care providers can also remind seniors to dress to protect themselves from the sun and help them to apply sunscreen. In addition, a home care provider can help the older adult to look over their skin for changes, including hard to see areas, like the back.


If you are considering home care in services in Purcellville, VA, for an elderly loved one, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers Home Care in Leesburg. (703) 297-4642.