Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States? One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, and almost 10,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. Such harrowing figures highlight the importance of protecting your skin from the sun.
Yes, sunlight may be an excellent source of vitamin D, and yet it is very easy to take it too far. There is a balance between maintaining vitamin D levels, having fun in the sun, and simultaneously protecting yourself from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Here are dermatologist-approved tips on how to keep your skin protected from the sun and lower your risk of skin cancer.
Sun Protection Tips
Skin that is damaged by the sun is weakened. If you look at sun-damaged skin under a microscope, the damage is evident in the cells and blood vessels. Take these steps to protect your skin and avoid the leathery look that portrays damage within:
- Wear sunscreen every day. Opt for a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. SPF is the amount of time the sunscreen will protect you from UV rays. SPF 30 allows only 3 percent of the UV rays to penetrate your skin and will take 30 times longer for you to burn. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied after every two hours.
- Protect your lips. Your lips can get sunburnt, too. To protect the lips, wear lip protectants that contain SPF 15 or higher.
- Choose makeup products that contain SPF 15. Most makeup products now contain SPF, which allows you to choose wisely with skin protection in mind.
- Seek shade when possible, especially during the midday sun hours. The worst time to be out in the sun is the hours between 10 am and 4 pm. If you must be out during these hours, wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, neck, and ears from the sun’s rays. In addition, wear long sleeves and pants that cover up the arms and legs. Protect the delicate skin in the eye area by wearing sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation.
- Avoid tanning beds and artificial tanning products altogether. They damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. If you want to tan, self-tanning products are safer.
There are many products that claim to adequately protect you from the sun but actually don’t work. For this reason, it is best to consult a dermatologist about what products to use. Likewise, a dermatologist can diagnose skin cancer early and treat it.
Dermatologist in Miami, FL
If you are concerned about skin cancer, trust Dr. Ana Duarte at The Children’s Skin Center with your care. Dr. Duarte can recommend dermatologist-approved products that protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Moreover, Dr. Duarte can treat a range of skin problems such as acne, melasma, psoriasis, skin tags, warts, fungus, and more.
For quality dermatology services with a personal touch, choose Dr. Duarte. To make an appointment, call our dermatology clinic today at (305) 669-6555 or use our convenient appointment request form. The Children’s Skin Center has locations in Miami, Coral Gables, Doral, Miami Lakes, Miramar, Kendall, Palm Beach Gardens, and Pinecrest.