Summer time means picnics, swimming, and outdoor sports. It’s my favorite season. I love being outside with my daughter and our farm animals from sun rise to sun set. Although you should participate in these outdoor activities, sun protection is essential.
Sun exposure leads to various skin abnormalities. It can cause changes in skin color, elasticity, and texture. Sun causes connective tissues under your skin to lose elasticity and smoothness. Discolored, brown, or red color changes occur. Actinic keratosis is a precancerous skin condition. Too much sun exposure also leads to three major types of skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
To keep your skin looking its best and prevent skin cancer, you must make sun protection a priority. First, sunscreen should be used daily, in all seasons. I recommend that anyone who uses daily moisturizers have one with at least SPF 15. This way, your skin has protection all the time, year round. Next, avoid being in the sun when rays are strongest, between 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon, by staying in the shade. Clothing provides much more protection than even the best sunscreen. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, swimming shirts instead of swim suits, shorts instead of bikini bottoms. Apply a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, and reapply every 2 hours.
When should you worry about a changing mole? Use American Academy of Dermatology’s ABCDE’s of cancer detection. If a mole or lesion has A-Asymmetry, B-irregular Border, C-multiple Colors, D-Diameter greater than 6mm, and E-is Evolving or changing, make an appointment with your doctor immediately.