Summer is often a time when our skin is exposed to more sunlight for longer periods of time as we enjoy the outdoors. The team at New England Cancer Specialists wants to remind everyone to speak to their doctor about their skin cancer risk. When detected early, skin cancer is highly treatable. Our skin cancer specialist, Dr. John Winters, recommends that everyone check their skin surface and their partner's skin surface monthly or every other month. Dr. Winters also recommends:
Remember that the UV rays of the sun still penetrate clouds, so continue to protect your skin even on cloudy days. Seek out shade when the sun's rays are strongest, generally between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day. You can find clothing with SPF, and wear hats with wide brims to protect your scalp and face. Use extra caution on boats, around the water, or at the beach, where the suns rays reflect and intensify, increasing your risk of a sunburn.
Dr. Winters recommends an SPF of at least 30 for sun protection. Make sure you find a product that offers broad spectrum protection (protection against UVA and UVB rays) and is water resistant. Apply sunscreen about 15 minutes before you go outside.
How much do you need to apply? An adult should use about 1 oz - the size of a shot glass. Be sure to reapply every two hours, or after swimming or excessive sweating.
More details on sunscreen can be found on the American Academy of Dermatology website, here
Learn how to perform a skin self-exam here
This infographic from the American Academy of Dermatology explains more about what to look for and where on the skin surface for yourself and your partner. Click on the image to see a larger PDF file.