Skin Cancer Prevention
Proper Sunscreen Use
Because of the damaging effects of the sun, adequate protection is essential in maintaining the long-term health of the skin, especially in the summer months.
Certain types of sunscreen protect against UVA and UVB pays for comprehensive skin protection. It is important to choose a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15, which refers to the amount of time it takes the skin to react to the sun as opposed to unprotected skin.
With regular sunscreen use, patients can reduce their risk of skin cancer, age spots, burns, premature aging and other unwanted conditions. Through a lifetime of regulated sun exposure, your child can continue to maintain the healthy, beautiful skin they were born with.
Preventing Skin Cancer & Premature Aging
There are many ways to prevent or reduce the effects of skin cancer and photoaging on the skin which require simple life changes and adjustments that keep your skin protected from harmful substances. If avoiding the sun is not possible, it is essential to use sunscreen with adequate SPF and wear a hat and/or protective clothing. Avoiding smoking can also keep skin healthy and prevent wrinkles from developing. Eating a balanced diet and keeping stress at a minimum helps maintain an overall healthy life and allows skin to look its best as well.
Following these steps can help prevent or postpone skin cancer or wrinkles from developing, as well as prevent brown spots, broken capillaries, enlarged pores and other unwanted effects. Your doctor will help you develop an individual plan to prevent or reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and other skin changes.
Myths About Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a very important nutrient to keep our bones healthy and help prevent a number of diseases. Yet there are many myths surrounding it that leave people confused and potentially misinformed. One common myth is that the best source of vitamin D is sun exposure. While our bodies do produce vitamin D from sunlight, the increased risk of skin cancer from prolonged exposure is far too dangerous to ignore. Instead, individuals should look to food sources of vitamin D to get their daily requirements, including dairy products, certain leafy greens and cereals and other fortified foods. Another myth is that there is one standard dose of vitamin D appropriate for all adults. Since this is one vitamin in which many people experience deficiencies, it is essential to take larger doses of supplements under a physician’s supervision if you are found to be lacking in vitamin D. Once you are retested and have levels in the normal range, your dosage can be reduced, but supplementation should continue to ensure the deficiency does not return.
Tanning beds may seem like an easy way to achieve a great-looking bronzed glow, but research has shown they are just not safe. Use of tanning beds has been linked to a significantly increased risk of developing melanoma, which is the most potentially deadly form of skin cancer.
If you have frequented tanning salons in the past, don’t panic. You simply need to keep up a regular schedule of skin cancer screenings. Our Doctors will provide comprehensive, full-body examinations that can help identify any skin changes and abnormalities. Early detection is valuable in successfully treating skin cancer.
Self Tanning Products
Self tanning products are a great option for people who love the look of a tan and want to get one safely. Since these products tend to concentrate in areas of dead skin, the key to achieving an even appearance is exfoliation prior to its application. Once dead skin cells are removed, you can apply the self tanner slowly and carefully to ensure it doesn’t streak. Using a self tanning product that is tinted may help you with distribution so you do not miss any spots. It is also a good idea to begin with a formulation not too much darker than your natural skin and gradually increase it if needed. After using self tanning products, you can prolong their effects by moisturizing regularly and patting yourself dry following bathing.
Children & Sun Protection
Due to the damaging effects of the sun, adequate protection is essential in maintaining the long-term health of children’s skin. This holds true not only in the summer months, but any time children are spending time outdoors. During the midday hours when the sun is strongest, it is ideal to keep children inside or in the shade as much as possible. When they are outside, keep as much of their skin covered as you can with clothing and a hat. Apply sunscreen every time your child will be outdoors, and choose a formula that offers both UVA and UVB protection and an SPF of at least 15. Sunscreen must be reapplied throughout the day, especially after swimming, to remain effective.
Wearing the right clothing is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun. Items made with a tight weave, such as denim, allow fewer rays of ultraviolet light to penetrate to the skin. Synthetic fibers offer more protection than natural fibers do. Wearing dark or brightly colored clothing will also defend against the sun better than white or lightly hued items. There are a number of clothing products now available that are specially created to provide UV protection. These vary in their protection levels, though, so read the labels to determine just how much of the sun’s rays they will screen out. Wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses are important items to wear as well any time you are exposed to the sun to minimize your risk of damage.
Contact our office to learn more about Skin Cancer Prevention or to make an appointment.