With the summer quickly approaching, skin cancer may not be in the forefront of your thoughts, but it should! More time spent in the sun, especially in Southern California, creates more risk of exposure to harmful skin cancer causing rays! The doctors at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology want to share some ways you can protect yourself during National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and discuss cosmetic laser treatments in San Diego that can work wonders on sun-damaged skin!
Ways To Avoid Skin Cancer
UV rays from the sun can be the most harmful and detrimental to a person’s skin.
Some of the best recommendations to avoid skin cancer are:
- Seek shade, especially during midday hours.
- Wear clothing to protect exposed skin.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
- Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.
- Avoid indoor tanning.
Following these guidelines and avoiding the sun during the peak hours of 10 am-4 pm will lower the risks of being diagnosed with skin cancer.
The Importance of Sunscreen
Sunscreen allows you to enjoy those hot summer days without worrying about skin cancer! Unprotected sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. More than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year, affecting 2 million people! At this rate, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in his or her lifetime. Sunscreen can prevent this from happening because the active ingredients contain compounds that absorb, scatter or reflect UV light. Here are some tips for sunscreen application:
- Apply a generous amount to your skin! Use a tablespoon on the face and around 2 ounces for the body. Make sure your SPF is at least 15, but 30 would be better!
- Put on your sunscreen before you put on makeup or moisturizer. It is best if applied to clean skin!
- Use sunscreen daily! Even if the skies are cloudy, harmful rays can sneak through and heighten the risk of UV ray exposure.
- Apply sunscreen before you go in the sun! It takes about 20 minutes for sunscreen to be absorbed into the skin.
Watch Dr. Groff Discuss New Tanning Regulations
Treatments for Precancerous Lesions
Skin cancer often starts as a subtle change to your skin. It can be a new growth that is not cancerous but could eventually become cancer over time. These lesions are caused by overexposure to the sun, particularly in fair-skinned people, and should be treated immediately. The team of world-renowned dermatologists at CLDerm offer many innovative treatments for those who have been diagnosed with precancerous lesions.
Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT) is used to treat sun damage, pre-cancerous regions on the skin. This state-of-the-art procedure is performed by placing the topical photosensitizing agent Levulan on the treatment area, which is activated with a specific wavelength of light. This treatment corrects the damaged skin while being able to target specific areas. PDT in San Diego also decreases the risk of skin discoloration that is often caused by routine freezing with liquid nitrogen. The best part is that there is minimal downtown after a PDT treatment, so you can return to your daily routine with hardly any recovery time!
Contact Goldman, Butterick, Groff & Fabi Cosmetic Laser Dermatology
If you have any questions about sun protection or any concerns with irregular growths or lesions on your skin, do not hesitate to contact the dermatologists at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology. The caring and knowledgeable staff can answer any of your questions and help determine the safest and most efficient course of action to maintain a healthy skin! Call 858-943-2113 today and don’t forget to enjoy the sun safely!
Next, read our blog, Eliminating Scars.