It’s that time of year again. The days are growing longer, the sun is brighter and your friends and family members are emerging from their winter hibernation.
While summer is a wonderful time, it is also one of the most dangerous to your skin. For this reason, it is extremely important to be mindful when outside, especially of the effects the sun can have on your body. When enjoying different activities, it’s very easy to forget this fact, so be sure to not neglect taking care of yourself when outside.
Nationally, May is recognized as Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. Being the most common type of cancer in the United States, over 5.4 million cases are treated every year. To help put this into perspective, there are more new cases of skin cancer every year than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined. Because of this, it’s crucial to protect yourself at all times while you’re outside. Fortunately, there are multiple ways of keeping your skin free and clear:
While this should be done year-round, this is one of the easiest prevention methods to keeping your skin cancer-free. Sunscreen prevents the skin from absorbing dangerous UV radiation from the sun but should be regularly applied, especially when swimming or playing any sport. Also, being mindful of your own skin and how easily you burn from sun exposure will help you choose the proper SPF for your summer activities.
Avoiding Mid-Day Sunlight
The sun is at its brightest and most dangerous during the middle of the day. If at all possible, it’s best to take a break around this time, generally from 10 am – 4 pm. When you avoid these times, you help prevent the damage to your skin that can potentially lead to skin cancer and melanoma.
Get Screened Yearly
There are numerous things that we should get screened for on a regular basis and skin cancer should be added to that list. Monitoring your body closely for any new moles or freckles helps keep your doctor in the know when it comes to your body. Even though there are areas that you may not be able to see as clearly, your physician can help map different areas that may be prone to developing skin cancer.
Wearing Protective Clothing
Sunscreen doesn’t provide 100% protection from the harmful UV rays that the sun emits, so wearing protective headwear, sunglasses and dark, tightly woven material will offer your skin the best protection during the summer months.
Summer is one of the best times of the year, so take care of your skin as best as possible when enjoying it. If you have any questions or concerns about your skin, our family practitioners at Summit Medical Center are here to help you, no matter the situation. To learn more, please call us at 307-232-6600.