This is a good time to talk about skin protection for all my fellow fair-skinned friends who are ready to get outside and soak up some sun. I love this time of year when everyone is able to get outside more and be active. I would encourage everyone to spend more time outdoors this month, but as spring hits full swing and we move into the summer months, don't forget to protect your skin. We see skin cancers with ever-increasing frequency.
There are simple steps you can take and make routine that can help prevent skin cancer for you and your family. If you plan to be in direct sunlight for even 15-20 minutes, sunblock is a good idea. Look for something SPF 30 or higher. For longer periods of sun exposure, you should re-apply every 30 minutes or so. Wearing hats or visors, especially with a wide brim the covers the ears, can give added protection. Wearing lightweight, cool, long sleeved clothing can also help.
Much of the risk for developing skin cancer comes from exposure to ultraviolet light that occurs when we are young. Be especially vigilant about sunscreening your kids! It is encouraging to see that each summer, swim shirts and frequent sunscreen application for the little ones seems to become more the norm than the exception.
For adults, using a facial moisturizer that has sun protection SPF 30 or higher first thing in the morning before you even leave the house is a good strategy. Make sure to get the ears as well. There are a multitude of good products out there.
If you have moles or skin spots that are new, seem to be changing, are irregular in shape, raised, or vary in color, come in and have your doctor look at them. Early intervention can prevent major complications down the road and provide a better cosmetic outcome. Early treatment can also be less painful and less costly.
Now, take your vitamin D supplement, put on your sunscreen, and get outside!