A skin cancer diagnosis is the last thing you want when you see your dermatologist. Since May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we compiled a few of our top tips for protecting your skin from cancer.
Sunscreen is one of the most effective means of protection when it comes to your skin and UV rays. Sun damage is one of the biggest contributors to the development of skin cancer, which means a good sunscreen should always be handy. When you're looking for sunscreen, make sure you purchase one that's SPF 30 or higher. The higher the SPF, the better, in most cases. In addition, you should reapply your sunscreen every two hours if you plan on spending time outside continuously. This goes for the colder months, as well. Just because the temperature drops doesn't mean the sun disappears! And applying sunscreen can easily be added to your daily beauty routine. In fact, many foundations and primers now have SPF ratings. Skin cancer prevention and beauty products can go hand in hand.
Aside from wearing sunscreen, wearing protective clothing can be an excellent way to help you avoid skin damage and skin cancer. If you know you're going to be outside all day, consider wearing a hat to protect your scalp from sun damage. The bigger the brim, the better! It helps that wide-brim sun hats are in style, too. Beyond that, consider making an investment in clothing with a UPF label. Clothing with this designation on the label means that it's fashionable and functional when it comes to UV ray protection.
Being outside to enjoy the beautiful weather isn't inherently a dangerous thing. The most important thing you can do is look for ways to protect yourself while you're enjoying the warm weather. One of the easiest things you can do is simply spend your time in the shade whenever possible. A big tree or a beach umbrella can provide plenty of shade on a sunny spring or summer day. Take note: the most important time to seek out shady areas is between the hours of 10AM and 4PM. This is when the sun can do the most damage to your skin.
Skin cancer can be sneaky -- even the most rigorous self-exams sometimes can't catch what a dermatologist's trained eyes can. Going in for a skin cancer screening might seem intimidating, but it's one of the best ways to catch early signs of skin cancer and treat them before your condition becomes something serious. If you're not in a high risk group, once-yearly screenings are typically great. However, if you have a family or personal history of skin cancer, light skin tone, or extensive sun damage on your skin, your doctor may want to see you more frequently.
Protecting your skin using these tips is the best thing you can do to prevent the development of skin cancer. If you have questions or want to set up a skin cancer screening, contact SE Dermatology Specialists today.