It's that time of year when we want to feel the warmth of the beautiful sun. I recall back in the late 60's and 70's when I would slather my face with baby oil and bake with the sun reflector for hours. Not smart. Well now I am paying the price for all those beautiful golden tans that I thought looked so amazing. We didn't know about SPF 15 or SPF 45 or SPF anything. I remember the first time I was in a drug store and saw a product by Coppertone called "For Faces Only". Does anyone remember this product? It was our introduction to SPF.
Well we have come a long way and that is a good thing! Not only will using sunscreen protect us from possibly getting skin cancer but it will protect us from further sun damage. Sunscreen is our best weapon against aging skin! That doesn't mean you can apply sunscreen and then you are safe to bake for hours. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure and then reapplied after sweating, swimming, and after 2 hours of sun. If applying the next layer of sunblock makes you feel oily you can dust it on with Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45, which controls oil and creates a barrier. It is so easy for on the go application!.... A little sun is good for you (we need the vitamin D that the sun provides) but ladies don't overdo it.
- Enjoy the sun but use sunscreen, wear a broad-brimmed hat, cover arms and legs when possible. Wear sunglasses. (Remember as I posted above apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours. Sunscreen should have at least an SPF of 15. An SPF of at least 30 is recommended for your face.)
- Don't visit a tanning salon......it will increase your risk of melanoma.
- When you have your yearly check-up make sure your doctor checks for anything abnormal on your skin....when caught early melanoma has an excellent chance of being cured.
- Even if you have dark skin you are still at risk for skin cancer. In dark skin melanoma is found in places that are not exposed to the sun. Check under finger nails, between toes, palm of your hands, and wear sunscreen. Yes fair skin is at higher risk but nobody is immune!
- Eating healthy foods can cut your risk of skin cancer by half. Fresh fruits, vegetables,whole grains, fish, and low fat dairy. Foods that you would eat for a healthy heart. Fried foods, processed foods, red meats, full-fat dairy products are not good for your heart or your skin.
- Know your skin. Check your skin. Check the back of your legs (use a mirror). If there is size change, color change, shape change please go see your doctor. Not all skin cancers are melanomas. About 90% are basal cell carcinomas, which seldom spread to internal organs but can destroy surrounding skin if left to grow. Squamous cell carcinoma is another type of skin cancer that usually does not spread. Ladies have a great summer, enjoy the sun but take precaution. Talk soon...........Elyse Rose