Protect your skin in the sun with these smart choices.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in America today. When ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) from the sun hits your skin, the body absorbs it, making your skin redden or darken. Damaged skin cells become susceptible to cancer. Especially here in Florida, the following precautions are literally life savers. In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, follow these helpful tips.
- Make sunscreen your first line of defense. About 30 minutes before going outside, apply a sunscreen containing sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or greater. Reapply every two hours or whenever it’s washed off. Don’t get caught off guard by keeping bottles of sun block in many places, such as your car or your beach bag.
- Accessorize. The right clothes, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat are key. Consider purchasing clothing from brands that specialize in high SPF fabrics, such as featured in fishing or swimming catalogs.
- Never go to tanning salons. Tanning indoors isn’t safer than under the sun. Studies conclude that tanning beds, for example, can lead to melanoma.
- Check yourself. Once per month, look in the mirror and inspect any moles, freckles or spots. Are there any new ones? Have any changed in shape, color or texture? Know the warning signs of skin cancer so you can stay in control of your health.
- Consult the experts. When you do find suspicious skin marks, your primary care physician or a dermatologist can answer your questions. Get a skin check-up at least once a year, especially if you spend more than ten hours per week outside.
Are you concerned about the consequences of sun exposure? Central Florida Regional Hospital offers dermatological services to assist you in your quest to maintain healthy skin. Call us with questions or to schedule an appointment using our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-445-3392.
Sun Safety Tips + New FDA Sunscreen Rules