Summer is here, and after the last, long 18 months of limited travel and gatherings we are now able to get out and about more freely. One of the nicest things about summer is being able to enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, swimming, camping, picnicking and numerous outdoor sports.
As part of our outdoor routines, it is important to remember the impact of sun exposure on our eyes and skin. Exposure to the sun, while very helpful for our moods and Vitamin D synthesis, can have a very detrimental effect on our skin. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer at this time.
The types of skin cancer vary from generally less malignant varieties such as Squamous and Basal cell, to the aptly named Malignant Melanoma. Signs of skin cancer include changes in mole size or shape, darkening mole colors, and skin lesions that persist or do not heal. Any changes should precipitate a visit to the family doctor or dermatologist.
Prevention for skin cancer includes the following recommendations:
Avoid direct sun exposure from 10AM to 4PM.
When in the sun, wear protective clothing, hat and sunglasses.
Apply at least a SPF 30 or more sunscreen if in sun for extended periods, and a 15 SPF for routine daily usage.
Have the skin examined by a doctor and check yourself regularly for changes in moles or new skin lesions.
Keep safe and have fun in the sun!
Perry Williams, MD