Safe Sun and Skin Cancer Prevention

Sorry to always be harping on the same old story but it is so important! Many people truly don’t realize that getting sun is NOT just from laying out in the sun. If you are actively playing an outdoor sport (eg: golf, tennis or other) or you are gardening, walking, biking or just going from here to there, you are exposed to the sun. Even in your car, the longer wavelengths of light called UVA rays are reaching any skin that isn’t covered or protected with sunscreen. Yes, it is only “a couple of minutes” from your car to work and back again, but the “couple of minutes” day after day and year after year, do add up. For example, hold out your arm straight in front of you (without sleeves on). Look at the back of your arm and you will probably see some brown spots, a slightly rougher texture or more wrinkled skin. Now look at the underside or inside of your arm. That area is inadvertently sun protected because when you walk around your arms are by your side and the inside is shielded from the direct rays of the sun. What you will see there is smoother, less wrinkled skin with less mottled pigmentation. These two areas of skin are chronologically both the same age, yet look completely different! It isn’t age, you see, it is the sun that really beats up our skin and makes the skin less firm, the wrinkles and the brown spots more prominent. Most importantly the sun also causes skin cancer! If you really can see that then you will understand the need for constant sun protection year round. Every little bit helps!

Experts say that skin cancer is at epidemic proportions now! The chance of developing melanoma (which can be fatal) is increased by 75% by usage of tanning booths and even if it is not constant use! Allowing your teens to go into a tanning booth is like giving them a pack of cigarettes, something that I know none of you would ever do.

We have many great sun protection options for those that don’t like the feel or smell of traditional sunscreen. Please read New Products by skinfo® for specific recommendations on how to protect your skin!

Lastly, remember to see your dermatology provider for an annual total skin exam. Most of you see your Primary Care Physician for an annual check-up to ensure your internal systems and organs are healthy and functioning properly. Dermatology providers do the same in checking to make sure your skin, the largest organ of the body, is healthy. If abnormal or suspicious, these lesions can be removed or treated, thus preventing and often treating skin cancer.