Summer is here!
I am reminded of that every time I look down at my oh so white legs. The funny thing is, I don’t care as much anymore. I guess having 3 pre-cancerous freckles (notice I said freckles, not moles!) removed from various parts of ones body before the age of 34 will make baking in the sun seem less appealing.
SO, I am dedicating this weeks beauty pick to sunscreen and protecting our beautiful skin from the damage that the sun can do. I’m a big fan of vitamin D and it’s great in small doses, but I am also an overdo-er and moderation has always been a challenge.
Let’s look at how sun exposure relates to skin cancer. The two most common nonmelanoma skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), are directly correlated with sun accumulation over many years. Indeed, the most common locations for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma tumors are sun-exposed areas: the face, ears, hands, etc. (However, it is not unheard of for a basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma to appear on a non-sun-exposed area of the body.)
Melanoma is different. The sun exposure pattern believed to result in melanoma is that of brief, intense exposure – a blistering sunburn – rather than years of tanning. (Some studies now indicate that basal cell carcinoma also may be triggered by this exposure pattern.)
Other risk factors are also associated with melanoma, such as a family history, skin type and having a large number of sizable moles on the body. Like nonmelanoma skin cancer, melanoma can arise on any area of the body, regardless of whether or not a sunburn occurred in that location.
- Seek the shade, especially between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
- Do not burn.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
- Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours.
- Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
- See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
For a pdf version of this list, click seal-brand-list-may-2012
I thought I would spare you the graphic pictures of skin cancer. However, if you have something you are concerned about and would like to get an idea of what irregular spots look like, click here
If you like quizzes (and who doesn’t?!) click here and discover where your skin fits in.
If you are a “Nothin’ but the facts” kind of person, click here for some bullet points that are sure to set your mind thinking more about your epidermis.
So tell me…do you love the skin your in? If so, are you protecting it for the long haul or just trying to look like a hottie now? Hottie now (can) = Not-So-Hottie later. Do you agree?