Amid long-awaited trips to the beach, barbeques, baseball games, and various other reasons to play outdoors this summer, thoughts of protecting your skin from the sun can easily fall to the wayside. But did you realize a UV rating of 10 can mean a burn in ten minutes or less! UV rays can brutally damage your skin, as well as the underlying tissues, causing wrinkles, freckles, and even cancer.
May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, take advantage of this time and educate yourself on the prevention methods of this potentially deadly disease. Learn what can you do to reduce your chances of skin cancer:
- Seek shade outside; especially between 10am and 4pm, when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
- Don’t burn. A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if they have had five sunburns or more at any point in their life.
- Avoid tanning booths. Ultraviolet rays from tanning beds are known to cause cancer; just 4 visits a year can increase the risk for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma by over 15%.
- Cover up. Wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves and long pants, in bright or dark colored fabrics, as well as a broad brimmed hat and UV blocking sunglasses with large frames.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher – every day, even when it’s cloudy.
- Apply your sunscreen liberally, at least 15 minutes before going outside; reapply every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Keep babies and children out of the sun; just one sunburn in childhood doubles the chances of developing melanoma later in life.
- Do a thorough, head-to-toe examination of your skin every month. These can’t replace the annual skin exams performed by your physician, but they offer the best chance of early detection. If you notice any change in an existing mole or discover a new spot that looks suspicious, make an appointment to see your physician immediately.
Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery is dedicated to the health of your skin and your personal well-being. If you notice any questionable growths on your skin, or just want to learn better ways to care for your face and skin, call our office at 281.484.0088. We will be happy to answer your questions and set up a complementary consultation appointment with one of our skin care experts.