We know how exciting the beginning of summer can be. The start of BBQ and pool season also means the start of bathing suit, tank top, and… sunbathing season. When your skin is looking pale and pasty from the long and cold winter months, it can be tempting to skip the sunscreen and run full-speed ahead to the nearest pool or beach. After all, who wants to wear white after Memorial Day and blend in with their clothes??
As tempting as laying out in the sun to get a little summer color sounds, we remind our patients that there is no safe amount of sun when it comes to skin cancer risks. Not only are sunburns painful, but every burn raises your risk of skin cancer. We also remind even our most careful of patients that it’s important to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside (even when it’s cloudy out), apply on all areas of your body (including feet, hands, neck and ears – which are often times forgotten), and reapply every two to three hours and after going in the pool (even if your sunscreen says that it’s waterproof). It is also important to wear sunglasses as the sun damages your eyes which can cause cataracts and macular degeneration of the eye which can lead to blindness.
The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that one in five people will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. So, slather on you sunscreen (Remember, the higher the SPF, the longer you can stay out in the sun without turning red) and fish out your wide-brimmed hats. Summer is here and it’s time for all of the fun that comes with it, but just remember to stay safe and keep your skin protected from the sun’s powerful and dangerous UV rays. We recommend an annual skin exam by your dermatologist to have your moles checked and be proactive in the early detection of skin cancer and malignant melanoma. Contact our offices in either Columbus or Hilliard to set up an appointment today!