Harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun are present all times of year, but they become even more dangerous during the summer, as days get longer and the sunlight gets more intense. It’s always fun to get out and enjoy the nice weather, but there are extra risks associated with more sun exposure. Everyone knows that wearing a generous amount of sunscreen is the best way to protect your skin from developing skin cancer, but it can be hard to make this step a habit. Skin cancer is a real threat, especially in warm states like Florida. Over 2 million people are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer every year in the U.S. Before you run outside and have fun this summer, take a few extra minutes to help reduce your risk for skin cancer.
There are several general guidelines to help protect your skin and prevent skin cancer, according to skincancer.org. Anytime you will be outside for longer than a few minutes, you should take care to:
- Apply an ounce (shot glass size) of sunscreen over your body
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or as needed
- Wear protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats
- Wear sunglasses
- Avoid being out during the middle of the day, when the sun is strongest
- Take extra care if you are taking a medication that increases your sun sensitivity
- Seek shade
- Avoid burning and tanning
Besides these general guidelines, here is some specific advice for a few popular outdoor activities you might enjoy this summer.
Running is a great way to get fit, and many people enjoy training for long-distance races, like marathons. Running outside is enjoyable, but it does come with risks, as runners perspire heavily and sunscreen can easily rub off. In addition to using a sport-formulated sunscreen, runners should look for running clothing made to offer protection from harmful UV rays. Running during cooler hours of the day is safer and more comfortable, though UV rays are a danger even on overcast days, so don’t neglect the sunscreen.Don’t forget your sun protection during races either–apply your sunscreen before you arrive at the race site.
Reflection from the water can make boatinga risky activity for your skin, and you should be extra diligent about sunscreen protection when out on the water. Don’t forget your face, neck, hands, ears, and other sensitive exposed areas of the skin.
Swimming is a fun activity for the whole family, so it’s important that everyone stay well-protected from UV rays. Babies and children should be carefully protected with sunscreen, but babies under 6 months should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Protect the family with waterproof sunscreen, and make sure it gets reapplied every two hours, or as needed.
Sports, ranging from tennis to golf, and many others, are great summertime activities. Because of the amount of motion involved with these activities, however, heavy perspiration occurs,areas of the body can become exposed, and it’s easy to forget to reapply. Pay particular attention to areas like the back of the neck, ears, and lips. Using a sunscreen formulated specially for sports will help prevent it rubbing off, but you should still reapply often.
Golf involves reflection from the ponds and traps, so if you enjoy nine or 18 holes every once in a while, seeking shade and wearing protective clothing, such as a wide-brim hat and long shirt sleeves, is strongly advised.
Sun Damage and Aging
In addition to greatly increasing the risk for skin cancer, sunlight also contributes heavily to premature aging. Wrinkling, sagging skin, discoloration, and loss of elasticity are some of the major ways in which the skin can respond to the harmful rays of the sun. Premature aging is yet another reason to avoid sun damage to your skin–that tan may look great now, but a few years down the road, it will cause the skin to look older much faster. Protecting your skin is essential to both the health and beauty of your skin, even if your skin already has sun damage.
If you’ve already experienced the aging effects of the sun, don’t despair. There are many different treatments available to help reduce various signs of aging. Treatments like laser skin resurfacing, Ultherapy®, EMatrix™, Sublime™, Botox®, and facial fillers can easily be combined and customized to help you look younger and fresher.
If you’re in need of treatment or diagnosis for skin cancer, you should head to a reputable dermatologist right away. Don’t delay if you notice a suspicious mark; even the least dangerous form of skin cancer can be disfiguring if not treated early.
Whether you’re in need of skin cancer treatment, such as MOHS surgery, are interested in pursuing anti-aging skin treatments to repair skin damage, or simply want to take better care of your skin, pay a visit to renowned dermatologists Dr. Diane Walderand Dr. Chimento of Miami. Both offer skilled skin cancer treatment and specialize in cosmetic dermatology, providing clients with a wide range of non-invasive treatments to fight aging. In fact, Dr. Walder is a trusted resource for many national beauty publications, why not let her become your resource as well? Call 305-866-2177 today to schedule your appointment.