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Woman putting sunscreen on to protect her skin

This Summer, Make Time to Protect Your Skin

By Kristy Warren

For many of us, summer signals fun in the sun: hiking, biking, gardening, kayaking, camping, grilling, and swimming. Spending time outdoors is a great way to stay active while safely social distancing. Whether it’s a secluded trail, bike path, creek, or your own backyard, take a moment to protect your skin before heading outside.

Skin is the largest organ in our body, and skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and sun exposure is a key risk factor in developing it. As Ben Franklin wisely put it, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Cut down on your skin cancer risks by proactively protecting your skin with these preventive tips.

 

SUN SAFETY TIPS

  • Wear a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and breathable, lightweight clothing; long sleeves and pants provide extra protection. When reading labels, UPF refers to a fabric’s sun-blocking ability. If you’ll be in a public place, please remember to wear a cloth face mask to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19. Your mask helps protect your community and your skin!
Protect yourself with sunglasses, sunscreen, hat
  • Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect yourself from both UVA and UVB sun waves.

  • Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.

  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating excessively. No sunscreen is waterproof, and even water-resistant sunscreens wear off after approx. 1 to 1½ hours.

  • Avoid the sun during its peak intensity: typically 10 am – 3 pm.

  • Even if you aren’t planning to stay out in the sun, try using a moisturizer, primer, or makeup with at least SPF 15+ for everyday protection.

 

BUT WHAT ABOUT

  • Sensitive skin? Try using a sunscreen with zinc or titanium oxide, which are tolerated well even by easily irritated skin.

  • Your tan? Get that glow without the risk. Skip tanning beds and intentional sunning. Use a tinted moisturizer, foundation, lotion, or bronzer to give your skin a tan glow without the harmful rays and lasting skin damage.

  • A change in your skin? Don’t wait, talk to your health provider about any changes in your skin lasting longer than two weeks.

 

SPOTTING SKIN CANCER:

There are roughly one million new cases of skin cancer every year. The three main types are:


Basal cell carcinoma (pearly, dome-shaped bumps)


Squamous cell carcinoma (rough, tender, red bumps)


Melanoma (atypical or changing moles)

The most common warning sign for any skin cancer is a change in the appearance of a skin lesion or mole, such as changes in symmetry, color, diameter, border, elevation, or texture. Any change in appearance, bleeding, persistent itching, or crusting should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about your skin, call the Laurel Health Centers today at 1-833-LAURELHC (1-833-528-7354) or visit our contact page. We have comprehensive safety measures in place to ensure we can care for all patients throughout the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

 

Stayed tuned to our news page for more summer safety tips. 

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