Staying Safe Under the Sun: Essential Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer This Summer

Advanced Dermatology, PC Blog Staying Safe Under the Sun: Essential Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer This Summer

Summertime means outdoor adventures, beach days, and soaking up the sun. However, with the joys of summer comes the risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

Protecting our skin from harmful UV rays is crucial.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., with 90% of cases caused by the sun’s UV rays.

Stay safe in the sun this summer with expert advice from Dr. Gail Whiteman, a board-certified Dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology, P.C.

1. Choose the Right Sunscreen

In a recent interview with News 12 Connecticut, Dr. Whiteman emphasized the importance of using the right sunscreen. “When out in the sun, use a true broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen. Make sure to apply it a half hour before going in the sun and reapply every two hours.”

Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkles and age spots, while UVB rays can burn your skin. Both types of rays can contribute to skin cancer.

Mineral sunscreens, with active ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, effectively block both UVA and UVB rays without the potential irritation from some chemical sunscreens.

2. Apply Sunscreen Properly and Frequently

Even the best sunscreen won’t protect you if it’s not applied correctly.

Dr. Whiteman recommends applying sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure to form a protective barrier. Cover all exposed areas, including often-missed spots like the ears, the back of the neck, and the tops of the feet.

Reapplication is key. Sweat, water, and towel drying can remove sunscreen, so reapply every two hours and immediately after swimming or excessive sweating. Adults need about an ounce of sunscreen (enough to fill a shot glass) to fully cover their bodies.

3. Seek Shade and Wear Protective Clothing

Sunscreen isn’t your only defense. Complement it with physical barriers like long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and UV-blocking sunglasses. Some clothing has built-in sun protection, measured by an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). A higher UPF rating means better protection against UV rays.

Seek shade whenever possible, especially during peak sun intensity hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Bonus Tip: Consider Regular Skin Checks

Regular self-examinations are crucial for the early detection of skin cancer. Check for new or changing moles or spots. Early detection can significantly increase the chances of successful treatment.

If you notice anything suspicious, consult a dermatologist right away.

Protect Your Skin: Advanced Dermatology, P.C., Offers Comprehensive Skin Cancer Prevention

Don’t wait for a suspicious mole to seek professional care. Advanced Dermatology, P.C. is your partner in skin cancer prevention and treatment.

We offer a range of services to safeguard your skin, including:

  • Skin cancer screenings: Early detection is key. Our dermatologists will thoroughly examine your skin for any signs of concern.
  • Sun damage evaluation: We will assess your exposure risk and recommend personalized sun protection strategies.
  • Skin cancer education: We will show you how to perform self-exams, identify potential risks, and develop healthy sun habits.

Dr. Whiteman’s expert advice underscores the importance of using a broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen, applying it properly, and combining it with other protective measures.

For more detailed information, check out this comprehensive article on News 12 Connecticut.

Stay safe, stay sun-smart, and enjoy your summer to the fullest.

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