Protecting your skin from the sun is a serious matter. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70, and at least two people die of skin cancer every hour in the United States. The sun is not only dangerous, but it also has a way of aging the skin. Take care of your skin, with these tips.
- If you are going to be outside for more than 20 minutes, slather on the sunscreen, even if it looks cloudy out there. Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30, and reapply it often if you are going to stay outside.
- Any damage to your skin is a bad thing – and that includes a tan, which you may think looks healthy but is really a sign that skin is already damaged. If you absolutely must sunbathe, limit your time to less than 20 minutes.
- The sun is at its strongest from 10 am to 4 pm; try to limit outdoor activities between those hours. If you do go outside, make sure you wear lots of sunscreen on any exposed skin, and cover skin with a long sleeve shirt, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat that shades the face. And don’t forget about your eyes, which can be damaged by the sun as well! Wear sunglasses that block UV rays.
- If you’ve had many sunburns in your life or a bad sunburn in the past – even if it was decades ago – your risk for skin cancer is increased. Your risk also increases if you have a history of skin cancer in your family. Examine your skin once a month for growths or moles that look suspicious.
Being out in the sun enjoying yourself is what summer is all about. We need the sunlight for our health and our mental health. But the sun can also cause serious damage if you don’t take the right steps to protect yourself. If you notice a suspicious growth, don’t hesitate – call Stockton Dermatology in Phoenix, AZ, for an appointment, at (480) 610-6366.