About one in five Americans develop skin cancer, which makes it the most common cancer in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In addition to this serious risk, the sun can also cause lasting cosmetic damage to your skin, making wrinkles and age spots form at an early age.
Use enough sunscreen
Apply broad-spectrum protection (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 about 30 minutes before you’re exposed to the sun. This includes time spent running errands and doing other activities where you may not think about your sun exposure.
Try to keep your sunscreen next to your toothpaste. The habit can serve as a great reminder to apply before you step outside. A recent study showed that participants who kept their sunscreen by their toothpaste had a 20 percent increase in use compared to those who store it elsewhere.
Spots People Miss
Applying sunscreen is the easy part but it’s hard to remember every nook and cranny. The often-overlooked spots include ears, between toes, hairline, and sides of the neck. Don’t forget about your lips (especially the lower lip). The lower lip is 12 times more likely to develop cancer than the top lip. Use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15, and should be increased to 30 if you have a history of lip or skin cancer.
Examine Your Skin Yearly
Check your skin from head to toe for signs of new moles or dark spots. Make sure to see your doctor for a thorough skin exam every year, or make an appointment sooner if you see any signs of a mole that has changed size, shape, or texture.
Even if you don’t notice your skin is suffering a burn while you’re in the sun, you could still have a sun damage that won’t show up until 12 hours later. The effects of sun exposure accumulate over the years even without a burn by contributing to wrinkles and age spots. Your skin can be damaged in as little as 15 minutes of sun exposure if unprotected.
To learn about best treatment options for your damaged skin, contact us and book an appointment today.