Protect the Skin You’re In
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July is UV Safety Month, and to ensure your participation we’ve made you a to-do list. Click to get doctor-recommended guidelines to screen your birthday suit for cancerous moles. You’ll also find a list of products to help you avoid a nasty sunburn.Sure we all love a golden tan, but what we don’t love are the risks that lying out in the sun come with. Even if tanning isn’t your goal and you simply love the outdoors, you need to know how to protect one of your body’s most vital organs: your skin. According to the Skin Cancer foundation, skin cancer is the most common of all cancers and the easiest to cure if found early. Here are some simple tips for examining your skin:
Have a doctor do a full-body exam first, to assure whether any existing spots, freckles, or moles are normal or not.
After the initial review with your doctor, perform these exams once a month.
Self-Exams should take no more than 10 minutes.
Any change can be dangerous, even if it doesn’t hurt
Warning Signs and what to look for include:
A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored
A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that:
increases in size or thickness
changes in texture
is irregular in outline
is bigger than 6mm or 1/4", the size of a pencil eraser
appears after age 21
A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed
An open sore that does not heal within three weeks
If you do find something, do not delay, early detection is key to recovery. Here are some tips from SkinCancer.org on protecting your skin:
Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside.
Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
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.
Check out these links for the best sunscreens on the market: