Yes we are an Orthpaedic Office, but we are also Floridians, outdoor people, athletes and beach lovers. One thing we have all learned, in many years of medicine, is that prevention really is much better than the cure for pretty much anything.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and it’s not just people in Florida who need to be aware. There are many places where the ozone layer is thin, where a constant cool breeze can make you unaware of how much sun you are getting, or a hazy day can fool you into believing you are not getting too much exposure.
No matter where we are, and what time of year it is, we should put on sunscreen every day before we head out. Many make-ups and moisturizers add this so we often do it without really thinking about it. If you have any plans to be outside for a long period of time, these additive sunscreens are not strong enough.
Please read the attached info from The Skin Cancer Foundation and enjoy your outdoor time, safely.
• Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM when the sun is strongest.
• Do not burn. A person’s risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, doubles if he or she had had five or more sunburns at any point in life.
• Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths. UV radiation from tanning machines is known to cause cancer in humans
• Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Clothing can be your most effective form of sun protection.
• Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
• Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
• Keep newborns out of the sun since their skin is extremely vulnerable. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
• Examine your skin head-to-toe every month. While self-exams shouldn’t replace the important annual skin exam performed by a physician, they offer the best chance of detecting the early warning signs of skin cancer
• See your physician every year for a professional skin exam. You can also check www.SkinCancer.org/Tour to see if The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour is coming to your area.
About the Skin Cancer Foundation
The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. For more information, visit www.SkinCancer.org.
- Osterwalder U, Herzog B. Sun protection factors: world wide confusion. Br J Dermatol. 2009 Nov;161 Suppl 3:13-24. PubMed PMID: 19775352