5 Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer

Although summer is coming to an end, it is still important to take proper precautions to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Living in South Carolina where warm weather and sunshine can be found year round, skin cancer is a serious concern. For this reason, proper precautions should be taken year round to ensure the health of your skin and reduce your chances of developing skin cancer.

Although the best protection against skin cancer is to remain out of the sun’s reach, we understand that is not always practical, especially when living so close to the beach. Therefore, we have put together a list of skin cancer preventative tips that may go a long way in protecting your skin and preventing irreversible damage.

Preventative Tips:

  1. When it comes to skin cancer, early detection is key. We recommend performing home skin exams each month for all members of your family. To perform the exam, scan your body from head to toe and take note of anything that looks suspicious. Keep an eye out for new moles or spots, darkened areas, and scabs that won’t heal. Be sure to contact your dermatologist if you notice any areas of concern.
  2. Applying sunscreen daily, even in the fall and winter, is a great habit for the entire family. We recommend using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, especially in the months of March through October.
  3. The sun is the hottest between 10:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M., and therefore we recommend you limit your access to direct sun during this time period, specially in the summer months. Try to plan your outings for first thing in the morning or late afternoon. If you have to be out during these times, seek shade when possible, such as an umbrella at the tailgate and a hat and sunglasses to protect your face.
  4. At times sunburn may sneak up on you, specially in the fall when the sun doesn’t feel as hot on your skin. However, if you notice you are starting to burn, it is time to seek shelter from the sun. Burning your skin creates irreversible damage and can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. Therefore, always be mindful when out in the sun, such as while tailgating this fall. Reapply sunscreen frequently and opt for protective clothing.
  5. Although it may be tempting to lay in the sun catching rays, or visit a tanning salon to darken your skin, tanning should be off limits. If tan skin is a necessity, seek alternate methods of tanning, such as lotions and sprays.

Following the suggestions above year round may help keep your skin protected from dangerous rays. It is also recommended to visit your dermatologist yearly for a skin check. Certain types of skin cancer, such as melanoma, can be fatal. Therefore, it is important to take the health of your skin seriously.

Visit Mt. Pleasant Dermatology Today to Learn More About Skin Cancer Prevention

If you are interested in learning more about the prevention of skin cancer, or if you need to schedule your yearly skin check, contact Mt. Pleasant Dermatology to request an appointment with one of our dermatologists today. We look forward to visiting with you in our office.