See SPOT Run...

to your Dermatologist during May, Melanoma Awareness Month

Allie McAllister, FNP-C with Aesthetic Specialty Centre

As we approach the warmer months of spring and summer, the importance of sun protection increases. Longer days mean more fun times spent outdoors, exposed to damaging ultraviolet rays from the sun that result in an increased risk of skin cancer, eye damage and premature skin aging. 

- About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

- One person dies of melanoma every 52 minutes.

- Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old.

- An estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun.

- People who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not.

In order to enjoy summer fun and protect yourself and your family, keep your protection routine simple: 

- Apply a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily – even on cloudy days. 

- Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after excessive sweating or swimming.

- Avoid direct sun exposure between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest. 

- Water is a reflective surface that allows the sun’s rays to reflect back on to the skin, increasing your exposure. Wear clothing such as hats, long sleeves and UV-blocking sunglasses for added protection. 

- Find a sunscreen that has broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

When selecting sunblock, look for these ingredients for maximum, full-spectrum protection: 

- Physical (or mineral) blockers such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These sunscreens physically block skin from the harmful rays of the sun and work immediately. (Chemical sunscreens need to be applied approximately 30 minutes prior to exposure to the sun, giving the skin time to absorb before they actually work effectively.) 

- “Physical block” is highly recommended for younger children and those with sensitive skin types. 

- Micronized zinc is a smaller molecule which alleviates the thick, white, pasty look. 

- The higher the SPF number, the more chemicals will be found in the product. However, you only increase  your protection by 15 to 30 minutes.

- No sunscreen is waterproof – sunscreens are water resistant. Reapplication is key.

- A few of our favorite sunscreens are: EltaMD, Coola, SkinMedica, SkinCeuticals and Revision Skincare. 

If your summer isn’t complete without a golden tan, there are healthier options available: at-home self-tanners have improved drastically over the years, and there are also spray tan studios (including organic airbrush tanning). Applying these simple tips to your everyday life will protect you from potential skin cancer and keep you looking more youthful even longer.

We don’t want you to become a statistic. 

If you can spot it,  you can stop it. Call to schedule a complimentary skin cancer screening during the month of May.

*Some information provided by the Skin Cancer Foundation


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This month's issue

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