Summer’s Arrived – Here’s How to Reduce Your Risk of Skin Cancer

Tennessee Skin Cancer Prevention SpecialistsTwenty minutes a day of sun exposure is enough to get all the Vitamin D the skin needs to remain healthy and attractive. More than that, however, and your risk of sun damage in Nashville soars.

And although it’s well known that each case of sunburn also increases your skin cancer risk, did you know that the so-called benefits of a base tan are a myth? While it does give you some level of protection, it’s not nearly enough; plus, if you’ve gotten your base tan from a tanning bed, you’ve done nothing more than double your exposure to harmful UV rays.

The risks of harmful sun damage exist throughout the year, however, it’s crucial to be more diligent about reducing your risk during the summer months when the temperatures are higher and the days are longer. That’s why, at Gold Skin Care Center, we want you to know that protecting your skin in Nashville is simple. In fact, it takes less effort than you might think.

Follow these suggestions now and you’ll have a better chance of not getting melanoma or undergoing skin cancer treatment in the future.

Remember Your (Melanoma) ABCDEs

Let’s get up to speed about what skin cancer looks like, as successful melanoma prevention usually means nothing more than knowing the signs. There’s an easy way to remember, too—just recite the following ABCDEs when checking for unusual moles or skin lesions:

  • Asymmetry: are both sides symmetrical?
  • Border irregularity: are the edges regular and defined? Or irregular and ragged?
  • Color variations: is the spot one color or a range of colors, including red, brown, or black?
  • Diameter: is the spot wider across than 6 mm (about the width of a pencil eraser)?
  • Evolving moles or lesions: has the appearance or texture changed?

Know and Pay Attention to Signs of Sun Damage or Skin Cancer

Knowing the signs of sun damage or suspected cancer spots can reduce your chances of needing skin cancer treatment. Some signs are obvious while others are not, so pay attention to any sore or bump or lesion that develops but doesn’t heal after a few days.

Don’t ignore a mole or spot that changes color, shape, or size, either. In fact, if you see or feel any type of strange or unusual skin blemish that itches, bleeds, or burns, you should have seen by a skin specialist for a professional diagnosis as soon as you can.

Regular Self-Examinations and Doctor Visits

To keep updated on the condition of your skin, perform self-examinations every month and be sure to observe as well as touch your skin for abnormalities. Visiting one of the Nashville providers at Gold Skin Care Center once a year is also a good idea to supplement your own exams. A skin cancer specialist can properly screen and diagnose your skin concern(s) as well as provide the best skin cancer treatment, if necessary.

Cars Don’t Offer As Much Protection As You Think

Vacations might mean extended time in a car, but be careful – cars don’t necessarily offer the protection you think. The spectrum of ultraviolet rays from the sun includes UVA and UVB rays, both of which cause sun damage.

In a car with normal glass windows and windshields, UVB rays are blocked but most UVA rays are not (over 50% get through), exposing passengers to increased risks. To get better protection, purchase a UV window film for your vehicle that will prevent nearly 100% of UVA and UVB rays without hindering visibility.

Avoid the Harshest Part of the Day

This skin cancer prevention method is the easiest and most infallible. Between 10 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., the sun is at its strongest. By minimizing your exposure, you improve your chances of avoiding skin cancer or the deadlier melanoma.

However, it’s not possible to stay inside every day during this time, so if you do venture out, cover up your arms, legs, and face with protective clothing, sunscreen, and a wide-brimmed hat.

Wear Sunscreen…

A broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 should be liberally applied before you go outside to offer better protection from UVA and UVB rays. Reapply after swimming or perspiring a lot as well as after being in the sun for more than an hour in Nashville.

…Yet Avoid Dangerous Chemicals

However, be sure to avoid sunscreens that contain the following:

  • Vitamin A (especially as retinyl palmitate)
  • Fragrance
  • Parabens
  • Avobenzone
  • Oxybenzone

Vitamin A, avobenzone, and oxybenzone actually have health benefits; however, Vitamin A becomes a cancer risk when exposed to ultraviolet light and the latter two can increase your risk of melanoma because they only effectively block UVB light.

Even the moisturizers or other daily skin care products you use can contain ingredients that increase your sun damage risk. We recommend top quality creams and lotions that offer sun protection.

Visit our online store to purchase our recommended skin care products.

Beware the Cloudy Day

Most of the sun’s UV rays (roughly 80%) easily penetrate cloud cover, so don’t relax your skin protection routine when outside on a cloudy day. Protect yourself with quality sunscreen and protective attire.

No Tanning Beds

The American Cancer Society states that tanning beds expose you to almost four times as much UV light than the sun, avoid tanning beds to avoid increasing your risk of melanoma.

Contact Gold Skin Care Center for Skin Cancer Screening

You only have one skin, so be active in monitoring your skin and any changes it undergoes. Skin cancer does not have to be fatal or even life-threatening but it depends on how well you take care of it and how well you avoid the risks that skyrocket your vulnerability to deadly diseases. To learn more, contact Gold Skin Care Center to schedule a consultation by calling 615-645-2314 or contacting us online. Our Nashville providers are here to take care of all of your skin concerns.

Next, read Do These Signs Around the Mouth Show Your True Age