The sun is finally coming out! We are ready for spring, summer, warm temperatures, baseball games, picnic lunches and a trip to the beach. However, there is a darker side to the sun. May is skin cancer awareness month. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the sun causes 90% of all non-melanoma skin cancers and 65% of all melanomas. Melanoma claims the life of one person every hour. Prevention is key! Not to mention, avoiding the sun prevents premature wrinkling, sagging skin, skin with a leathery texture and “aging spots.”
Wearing sunscreen should be a part of the daily routine for all individuals. This applies to sunny days as well as days that are overcast. Here are a few facts to remember:
- Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outside and reapplied every 80 minutes, after swimming, or sweating heavily. The active ingredients in sunscreen are degraded by the sun. If you don’t reapply, it doesn’t work!
- The recommended sunscreen strength is an spf of 30. However, even the use of spf 15 on a daily basis reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.
- One ounce, enough to fill a shot glass, is enough sunscreen to cover exposed body surfaces when in the sun. Most people only apply 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen to their skin.
- If you choose a spray sunscreen, hold the bottle no more than 1-2 inches from your body and rub the liquid into your skin completely. If you spray the sunscreen like hairspray, you will get little to no protection.
- Sun protection does not have to come in the form of sunscreen alone. UPF 50+ clothing is more readily available than ever. Wearing a UPF rash guard will help prevent sunburns on the back and hard to reach areas.
If you would like more information, please contact us by calling the office at 706-691-7079. Savannah River Dermatology is located at 575 Furys Ferry Rd, Martinez, GA 30907.