While many people may not know it, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer experienced by patients in the US. Outdoor activity is key to good health, but the sun can certainly take its toll over time. One of the most dangerous consequences of excessively sun-damaged skin is cancer, and many calls to providers of emergency dermatology in San Diego, CA, are due to this potentially dangerous condition. The prospect of skin cancer can be frightening, but one simply can’t live life wholly indoors away from the sun.
Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to mitigate the chance of developing sun-induced skin cancer, especially in times of the year when the risk is greatest. Spring and summer are great for outdoor activity, but the sun’s rays can be particularly brutal during these seasons. Therefore, you may have to engage in additional risk-reducing measures to prevent the development of skin cancer. Keep reading to learn more about ways that you can reduce your risk of skin cancer during the spring months.
Be Smart about Sun Exposure
Springtime without the joy of outdoor activity would lose some of its luster. Spring is a joyous season because the chill of the winter is melting away, the sun shines brightly, flowers bloom, and the landscape takes on a vibrant green hue. It’s unreasonable to expect people to shelter themselves inside during one of the nicest times of the year to be outdoors. However, it’s important to be smart about your sun exposure to cut your skin cancer risk. For example, enjoy outdoor activities from the shade when possible. Also, try to avoid outdoor activities during the times of day that UV rays are at their peak strength. Stay indoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and you can greatly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.
Another key tactic to use may seem counterintuitive to the warming temperatures, but it can offer additional protection that will allow you to enjoy the outdoors without increasing your risk. Even a light layer of clothing over key high-exposure parts of the body can extend protection and reduce your skin cancer risk. Make sure that you cover your head with a hat that shades the tops of your ears, your neck, and your face from direct UV exposure. Also, a long-sleeved shirt made of light fabric can offer an excellent layer of protection that won’t be too cumbersome in the mild spring temperatures. While shorts may be the desired outerwear of the lower half of your body, consider wearing long pants if you’ll be doing anything other than standing while outdoors.
Sunscreen may seem like an inconvenient step to take to ward off the sun’s rays, but it’s critical as part of your anti-UV regimen. You should select a sunscreen that offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays, and you should look for a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher. If you have fairer skin, a higher SPF level may be wise. Remember that most sunscreens must also be reapplied regularly throughout the day. A single application may cover you for up to two hours, but if you’re sweating heavily or swimming, more frequent application may be required.
Don’t Skip Protections Because It’s Cloudy
April showers may bring May flowers, but those cloudy skies don’t mean that you can’t get a sunburn if you go outdoors without any protection. Many people mistakenly believe that when the sky is overcast, the chance of skin damage that leads to cancer is diminished. That’s not the truth, however, as the sun is present whether the sky is cloudy or not. Don’t be fooled by gray skies, and always protect yourself as if it was a sunny day.
Practitioners of dermatology in San Diego, CA, advise that you take precautions against sun damage during the spring since that damage is a primary precursor of skin cancer. To learn more ways to reduce your risk of skin cancer in the spring months, contact Academic & Aesthetic Dermatology Consultants at (858) 292-7525.