Many people mistakenly believe that summer is the only time sunburns can occur. The painful truth is that everyone is susceptible to dangerous sunburns all year long. The statistics continue to rise in the number of skin cancer patients diagnosed each year and, even though it is one of the most treatable cancers, if caught early many people still miss the mark when it comes to properly protecting their skin. If you notice any telltale skin cancer signs, visit a Costa Mesa Medical Clinic for further tests. Don’t become a statistic. Protect your skin – every single day!
Just the Facts
- Don’t forget to self-check at least once a month. Use a full-length mirror to examine every inch of your skin at least once a month for any changes in moles or new moles. Make note of any differences in outline, shape, color, size, and texture of your moles or birthmarks.
- Look for the not-so ordinary. Contrary to popular belief, deadly melanoma doesn’t always take the form of dark moles. In many cases, it may have a flesh-colored appearance. Talk to your doctor or dermatologist if you discover any kind of skin abnormality.
- Always wear sunscreen! The sun shines all year long and, therefore, you are at risk for sunburn no matter what time of year it is. Don’t skimp on sunscreen during the winter months, or even on partly cloudy days. Wear it religiously.
- Know your SPF. Dermatologists recommend sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher, and you should never buy anything below an SPF 15. The numbers are different among adults, children, and babies, so talk with your family doctor or dermatologist first for recommendations.
- Avoid peak sunlight hours. The hours between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. are peak times for harmful UVA sunlight rays, so avoid activities during this time of day as much as possible. If you can’t avoid them, then reapply sunscreen every couple of hours, and don’t forget overlooked places like the scalp, the back of your hands, and your neck.
- Always use sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection. If you’re shopping for the perfect sunscreen, then double-check the label to make sure it provides both UVA and UVB protection, which will safeguard against harmful A and B ultraviolet sun rays.
- Stay away from tanning beds! The number of young adults and teenagers being diagnosed with skin cancer is steadily on the increase, and most of these cases are linked to sun bed/tanning bed usage. If you want a sun-kissed glow, then choose a safer option, such as spray-on tanning or sunless tanning lotion.
- Wear protective clothing. If you’re going to be out and about during the day, then do your skin a favor by covering up with a dark-colored, thick, long-sleeved shirt and a large-brimmed hat.
- Don’t forget your eyes and lips! These important places need protection, too, but are often forgotten. Don’t leave home without your UVA and UVB-blocking sunglasses, and choose lipstick and lip balm with an SPF 10 or higher.
These sunscreen facts are brought to you by your Costa Mesa medical clinic, Xpress Urgent Care.