Skin Cancer Prevention for Summertime

Although May was skin cancer awareness month, the board-certified dermatologists of Dermatology Associates of Atlanta educate patients about skin cancer prevention year-round.  As the most common cancer in the United States and most preventable, it’s imperative for individuals to protect their skin from the harmful effects of the sun.  Sunscreen should always be applied at least 15 minutes before sweating or water activities.

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Before you head out on vacation or enjoy the outdoors, we want to remind everyone about key tips to protect their skin this summer season.  Reducing your skin cancer risk includes spending time in the shade, reapplying broad-spectrum sunscreen, avoiding tanning beds, covering-up, and having an annual skin exam. In choosing a sunscreen two questions need to be answered:  1. Will the sun exposure involve sweating or water fun? 2. Do I need a sunscreen for daily sun without sweating or water?  For the person who will be in water or sweating it is crucial that the sunscreen be labeled waterproof or water resistant.  The FDA now requires proof by testing those that are using the label water resistant/waterproof and how many minutes have been proven.

SOME OF OUR FAVORITES are: Aveeno continuous protection 55, Environmental Defense 50 by Skin Medica®, Solbar 50 cream Solbar Zinc38, Solbar 30 liquid, Neutrogena Healthy Defense daily moisturizer, the Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist 70, Ultimate Sport Lotion 70.  For the acne prone patients we highly recommend the oil free sunscreens:  Skin Medica®, the SolBar Liquid and the Aveeno 55.

During the hours of 10am to 4pm when the sun is the strongest, individuals should seek shade or wear protective light clothing. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more can protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. The most important thing people tend to forget when wearing sunscreen is to reapply; by putting on sunscreen more often you lower your risk of sunburn.

In-door tanning beds should always be avoided, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation just four visits to the tanning salon a year can increase an individual’s risk for melanoma by 11 percent. Our providers recommend that patients do self-exams of their skin each month and take notes of any changes, but should also have an annual skin exam performed by a board certified dermatologist to detect warning signs of skin conditions.

For more information about skin cancer prevention or skin cancer treatments offered at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta please call us to schedule an appointment. Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest skincare news and information.