Content courtesy of Olmsted Medical Center
Summer is here. You look outside and it’s one of those picture-perfect, warm, sunny Minnesota days. If you are one of the many people who have plans to head outside, there’s one important thing you need to do before you leave the house: apply sunscreen.
Whether you are planning to spend time at the sports field or on the golf course, at the pool, on the boat, in the garden or mowing the lawn, on the deck or patio, or walking the dog, it is important to protect your skin from the sun. In the United States, skin cancer is one of the most common cancers. And the deadliest kind of skin cancer, melanoma, is caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer and everyone is at risk. The good news is there are several easy things you can do to decrease this risk. Here are 5 things you can do to protect yourself from skin damage.
1. Avoid unnecessary sun exposure.
When outdoors during peak sun hours, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., try to stay in the shade as much as possible. If shade is not available, consider using an umbrella for some protection.
2. Wear clothing such as long sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats
to protect yourself from the sun.
3. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at
least 30 every day. It should be applied to all areas of exposed skin. For women, many face lotions and foundations now have “built in” sunscreens, which will provide protection for short periods of time in the sun.
4. Reapply sunscreen every two hours while outdoors or after swimming or sweating. Even if you are wearing a foundation with a built-in sunscreen, it is important to apply, or reapply, sunscreen after two hours of being outside.
5. Do not use tanning beds.
In addition to protecting yourself from the sun, it is important to check your skin regularly. If you notice anything changing, growing, itching or bleeding, see a dermatologist. The earlier skin cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.
At OMC, our team of knowledgeable and experienced dermatologists provides comprehensive adult and pediatric skin care, including general skin exams and many types of acne treatment. Appointments are typically available within a day or two.