Okay. Of course none of us want to see wrinkles appear. But as we get older, they most likely can’t be avoided – naturally, anyway! There is, however, something you can prevent, or at least reduce your risk for – skin cancer. So in honor of Skin Cancer Prevention Month, we’re sharing with you some of the best ways to help you take precautions and hopefully drastically reduce your chances of receiving a skin cancer diagnosis.
Sunscreen everyday for everyone.
Applying sunscreen isn’t just for when you’re hitting the beach or the slopes. It’s not something to do when you think of it. It’s not an option – it’s a must, so just make it part of your routine. If you are going to be outside, putting sunscreen on the areas of your body that won’t be covered by clothing is key to fighting back against the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Not only is it needed every day that you’re going to be outside, it’s needed by everyone – because literally anyone can get skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology’s recommendations for sunscreen are that it offers: broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays), a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher, and it should be water resistant. And don’t forget your lips! Find lip balm with SPF 30 also. The other key to successful sunscreen use is re-application. It’s not just, put it on and forget about it. You should be re-applying every two hours or so and even more frequently if you’re in the water or sweating a lot.
Keep yourself covered up.
In addition to sunscreen, wearing appropriate clothing can help reduce your risk for getting skin cancer. Hats, sunglasses, beach cover-ups, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, even a towel wrapped around you – these all have sun protection benefits. Obviously some are more practical than others in the warmer weather or on the beach. At the very least a t-shirt or a beach cover-up and hat can help. Wide brimmed hats are best, but really something is better than nothing. And keep in mind that most t-shirts offer less than SPF 15, so it’s important to apply sunscreen in addition to clothing, hats and shades.
Limit your time in the sunshine.
It’s no secret that we all love getting in our Vitamin D by soaking up a few rays now and then – or more often depending on you! But one thing to consider in protecting your skin against sun damage and skin cancer is to find some shade when you’re enjoying your fun in the sun. If you’re at the beach, find a palm tree or plant one of those colorful beach umbrellas in the sand and park yourself underneath it! Keep in mind that the sun is strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so these are key times to take a break from sun. But just like with covering up – sunscreen is still a must even in the shade!
We all love the lazy days of summer or a nice relaxing vacation during the long, cold winter. But it’s important to stay vigilant in protecting our skin. These are just a few ideas on how you can protect yourself and your family from the sun’s harmful rays. It’s also important to see your dermatologist once a year for a body check to look for any signs of skin cancer. You should also make an appointment at any time if you notice changes yourself on your skin. Remember, skin cancer is extremely treatable if it’s caught early. If you’d like more tips on sun protection, please contact us.