The dangers of skin cancer are something to remember all times of the year, not just when the sun is high and the rays are hitting us during the summer months. Dr. Tim Love of Oklahoma City supports the skin cancer prevention guidelines as established by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, an organization that Dr. Love has long been an esteemed member of.
For complete information on prevention techniques, consult with your general physician. Here are several prevention techniques that are supported by Dr. Love and ASPS.
When planning to be in the sun for any extended time (more than 15 minutes), use sunscreen. You should be using sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Take special care to apply the sunscreen to all exposed areas especially when you’ll be taking part in any physical activity or if you’re going to be on the water. Consult the directions to apply properly and seek out an SPF rating that is suited for your skin type. Apply the sunscreen before going outside (about 15-20 minutes prior) so it has a chance to interact with your skin and absorb, making it less likely to wipe off. Choose waterproof sunscreen when going to the beach or out on a boat or to an outdoor water park.
Make sure your kids are lathered with sunscreen and protected at all times. Never let newborns stay in the sun for an extended time.
Seek Shade and Cover Up
When possible, seek shaded areas. Any direct exposure to the sun can increase your risk of burning the skin. Be mindful that you can get burnt even when in the shade on sunny days, so apply sunscreen no matter what.
The warmest and most intense sun rays are from 10 AM to 4 PM, so if you can avoid extended periods in the sun at these times. If you are out, use sunscreen. One of the worst things for your skin is to burn it. Follow the steps outlined here or stay out of the sun if you are prone to burning.
Wear clothing that covers your legs, torso, arms, and neck to protect them from harmful rays.
Don’t forget about your eyes! The eyes are sensitive and vulnerable to sun rays as well. Wear sunglasses that are rated for UV (ultraviolet) blocking.
Every month do a careful examination of your skin from head to toe to keep an eye out for moles, spots, or abnormalities. Have your partner help you by looking at your back and keeping tabs on any moles that weren’t there before.
Don’t Fake It
Never use tanning booths. The harmful artificial rays and lamps can cause severe damage, especially when used consistently.
Have Regular Check Ups
See your primary care doctor at least once per year for a physical. If you are concerned about a problem with your skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist. Your primary physician can refer you to a dermatologist near you.
*Results may vary