It is common knowledge that we need to wear sunscreen in order to protect our skin from the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun. Prolonged exposure to the elements can significantly increase your risk of developing skin cancer, but there is more to skin cancer prevention than just sunscreen.
At Steele Creek Dermatology, we believe that proper education about skin cancer is key to prevention. Contact us today at our Charlotte office in North Carolina to find out more information about skin cancer prevention.
How Can I Prevent Skin Cancer?
Knowing how to properly take care of your skin while you’re outside is just as important as remembering to wear a helmet before you ride a bike or putting your seatbelt on while in the car. Fitting skin precautions into your daily routine will not only reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, it will also maintain the appearance of your skin over the long term.
The most important way to prevent skin cancer is to apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of your body before you go outside. An ounce of product, about the size of your palm, should be used on all parts of your body that are uncovered, including the top of your head, neck, ears, mouth and the tops of your feet.
At Steele Creek Dermatology, we carry sunscreen products from SkinCeuticals® and other high quality brands to provide the best skin care options to our patients.
Other skin care measures to keep in mind outdoors are:
- Choosing the right sunscreen. A broad-spectrum, waterproof sunscreen with an spf of at least 30 that protects against both UVA and UVB rays should be chosen.
- Applying sunscreen every two hours while you are outside, especially after swimming or sweating, even on cloudy days.
- Seek shade when the sun’s rays are the strongest – typically between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Wearing a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses while outside can also help maintain the health of your skin.
- Taking extra caution around water, sand and snow, as these reflect and intensify the sun’s rays and increase your chances of getting burned.
- Getting your Vitamin D intake naturally from foods or supplements instead of depending on the sun.
- Not using tanning beds as an alternative to a sun tan, as those can be just as damaging to the skin. Consider using a self-tanning product, and continue to apply sunscreen along with it.
- Familiarizing yourself with your skin, including its moles, bumps and other areas of dark pigment, is key to detecting changes in your skin and catching any signs of skin cancer early on.
Taking the time to exercise skin precautions while outdoors and regularly monitoring the appearance of your skin are important in maintaining your skin health. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or to find out more about skin cancer prevention.