Throughout the year, your skin is susceptible to damage from the sun’s UV rays. However, during the summertime months, that risk increases as many people spend more time outdoors. The sun’s rays are also more intense, meaning you’re more likely to burn and even possibly develop skin cancer.
Here are a few steps you can take to keep your skin healthy and lower your risk of developing skin cancer.
When the sun is directly on your skin, you have the highest risk for developing skin cancer and age spots. It is best to avoid direct sunlight, especially during the peak hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the most intense. If you plan to be outside during this time, find shade. You can also use an umbrella to create some shade for yourself.
If you are going to spend time in the sunlight, it’s important to create a barrier between your skin and the sun. The best way to do that is to always use sunscreen. Apply it any time you go outside, even if only for a short period of time. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF rating of 30 or 50 – with 50 being the recommended option for those who are at a high level of risk. Also, be sure your sunscreen is water-resistant to help prevent sweat from washing it off.
Apply enough sunscreen to cover all areas of exposed skin, including your face, neck, arms and even the tops of your feet if you are wearing sandals. And of course, make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours.
If you are around any type of surface that has a strong reflection, the intensity of the sun’s rays increases. The sun’s reflection in a pool or lake could cause skin damage, with you barely noticing. Snow and sand work the same way. That means you need to be very conscious about wearing sunscreen and limit the time you spend exposed during those high-risk periods of the day.
Even minimal exposure to the sun will change your skin somewhat. This is more common as you get older, too. The best way to know what types of risks are impacting you is to do a skin check. Every year, usually during the summer months, it is important for you to look at all areas of your skin. Look for areas of discoloration that are new and check for new moles as well. It is important to look for any areas that look as if they have changed in the last few months.
Most of the time, people do not recognize the risk of sun damage until the problem is extensive, which is why coming in to see your dermatologist at least once a year is best. Even if you just have some areas of darkened skin or age spots, Dr. Robert Topham at Holladay Dermatology & Aesthetics can provide some insight into what is happening and provide the proper treatment.
Even if you take every precaution possible to protect your skin, there are risks related to everyday exposure. It’s best to come in to see Dr. Topham early on and have any questionable spots or moles examined. Call Holladay Dermatology & Aesthetics today at 385-210-0735 to book your appointment.