With the summer heat in full swing, many of us are wanting to soak up as much sunshine as possible. We have all heard the dangers of skin cancer and how rampant and deadly it can be. We know that sunscreen application is important in preventing skin cancer, but there are still some areas that we might not think about when it comes to sun exposure. There are a few things to remember when going out into the sun for long periods of time to keep your skin cancer risk low:
- Wear Your Sunscreen Correctly: Just because you slather some sunscreen on once before going out in the sun doesn’t mean you are good to go. For starters, make sure you are using a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, and that the label says, “water resistant” and “broad spectrum.” Remember to apply sunscreen every two hours, and reapply after swimming and sweating. Even though the label says, “water resistant”, it doesn’t mean it is waterproof and stays on forever.
- Know Your Skin: Make sure you are regularly checking your skin and the changes it makes, especially bigger moles and spots. Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if you notice changes in the size, shape, and color of your moles. Don’t forget to check the ones on your back as well.
- Wear Sun Protective Clothing: Not all clothing is created equally. You may think throwing on a t-shirt while laying out by the pool will protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, but that isn’t always the case. A lightweight cotton shirt is better than nothing, but if you are going to be out in the sun for a long period of time, try clothing that has a tighter weave or try washing your clothing with a sun protection wash. There are different laundry additives you can add to your wash to improve the UPF (the amount of sun protection is measured in UPFs in clothing instead of SPFs) of your clothing making them much more protective against the suns harmful rays.
- Remember Your Face: Make sure you are remembering to apply a good sunscreen on your face before you apply make-up. Although many make-up now contains SPF 15, it isn’t always the best coverage and can come off throughout the day. If you are out in the sun all day remember to reapply sunscreen on your face along with the rest of your body.
- Protect Your Feet: Sometimes our feet get neglected when it comes to sunscreen application, but they are just a susceptible to a sunburn and skin cancer as the rest of our body. Keep sunscreen on those feet, even on the bottoms of your feet (they can get burned too) if you are laying out in the sun.
Keeping your skin protected from the harmful rays of the sun is vital to your health. Make sure you are doing all you can to keep your body cancer free. When it comes to your foot health Dr. Evan Merrill and his staff are here to help you. Come on in and visit our office at Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle LLC . We want to help make your life easier and improve your foot health. Call us at 541-776-3338 or make an appointment online.