Protecting Your Skin: Sun Safety
Updated: Aug 13, 2019
CPC Reminds You to Stay “Sun Safe” this Summer!
Those hot muggy days are upon us in South Louisiana and the doctors of Crowley Primary Care have assembled some tips to stay Sun Safe this summer. While it is vitally important to remain physically active to fight off the rising rates of obesity, it is equally important to protect yourself from both the extreme temperatures and those skin-damaging UV rays!
In 2015 the CDC estimated there were over 80,000 new cases of melanoma diagnosed and over 9,000 deaths in the US! While melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, an additional 4.3 million people are treated for basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers every year. Melanoma rates are particularly on the rise in men over 55. Gather up the sunscreen and hats every day. Even 15 minutes outside on an overcast day can cause UV damage to the skin Fellas, I’m talking to you!
The best way to avoid the damaging UVA and UVB rays is to take a layered approach!
· Stay in the shade! Limit time in the sun between the peak hours of 10 am and 4 pm if possible.
· Wear sun protective clothing with UPF--think long sleeves, broad brimmed hats, sunglasses.
· Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB SPF 15 or greater and reapply every 2 hours.
The type of sunscreen and ingredients have gotten a bit of bad press lately. Broadly speaking there are two types of sunscreen: chemical sunscreens that are absorbed into the skin to provide protection and mineral-based sunscreens which provide a physical barrier to the sun’s harmful rays. Although nearly all reputable experts agree that the risk of skin cancer far exceeds the unknown risk of the chemicals in some sunscreen products, if this is a concern of yours consider selecting a product that does not contain oxybenzone which has been shown to contain some hormonal properties. Another thing to consider when dusting off the beach bag for the summer is making sure that your sunscreen is not expired. Most sunscreens have a shelf life of 3 years or less.
As the saying goes, “Love the skin you’re in!” Take extra special care of your skin this summer and call us if you have any new or changing moles or skin lesions.
-Claire Ronkartz, MD
Crowley Primary Care