How Can You Protect Your Skin From the Sun?
The major risk factor for skin cancer is exposure to UV light. Blistering burns, intermittent and chronic sun exposure, and tanning bed use all increase the risk of skin cancer. Sun safety awareness starts now.
Since exposure to UV light is the most preventable risk for of all skin cancers, here are some steps to incorporate into your daily routine to protect from UV rays:
- Apply “broad spectrum” sunscreen daily, of at least 30 SPF to sun exposed areas of the skin
- Seek shade while outside and try and avoid the midday sun to avoid the most harmful UV rays
- Wear sun protective clothing with sports or playing outside, displaying extra caution near water, snow, and sand where UV rays reflect and increases your chances of sunburn
Common Questions about Sun Protection
Common questions arise once one starts to implement sun protective behavior.
Firstly, there is no such thing as a healthy sun tan, from the sun or the booth. Any change to your natural color is a sign of potential skin damage.
Secondly, self-tanning products are safe, but understand that these are not sunscreens.
Thirdly, one ounce (shot glass) of broad spectrum sunscreen is the recommended amount for full body application, remembering that the higher the SPF, the better. Also, do not forget to reapply every two hours while in the sun, and after heavy perspiration and getting out of the water.
Sun Awareness Leads to Skin Awareness
If you or your family members have a history of skin cancer, including melanoma, seek out a board certified dermatology provider to look over your skin on a yearly basis. Regular self-skin examinations on a monthly basis are strongly recommended.
As your own skin awareness increases, changes will be noted. Warning signs of skin cancer include new or changing skin spots in size, shape, color and symptoms.
If you have questions or concerns, consult your dermatology provider. Early detection is key. For more information on skin cancer and sun safety please visit the American Academy of Dermatology at www.spotskincancer.org. Early awareness is important.
We can work together now to make small changes that will decrease our risk of skin cancer and aging skin down the road.