One of the best ways to stay healthy during the summer months is to protect your skin from sun damage.
Dr. John Blomstedt from the Skin Clinic and Medical Aesthetic Center at Regional West Physicians Clinic treats patients for skin damage and skin cancer due to excessive sun exposure. He advises people of all ages to apply sunscreen before they head outside for the day, even when it is cloudy outside.
“To protect your skin, apply at least a SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum sunscreen. The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against harmful UV rays. Reapply sunscreen to all exposed areas at least every two hours or more often if you are swimming or exercising. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to neck, ears, lips, and scalp also,” said Dr. Blomstedt.
He also discourages using tanning beds, which have the potential to damage skin. “The use of tanning beds significantly increases the risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer,” he said.
Dr. Blomstedt adds that anyone, no matter their skin tone, can get skin cancer. “If you notice a spot, lump, or mole that is growing, changing or bleeding or a dry scaly rough patch of skin, it should be examined to rule out the possibility of skin cancer,” said Dr. Blomstedt.