Consumer Health Blog

Sun Worshipper? There are a few things you need to know.

Friday, August 1st, 2014

After a long, hard winter, you’re undoubtedly eager to get outside in the warmth of the sun.

That’s all right, sun worshipper! Some sun exposure is necessary to maintain the level of Vitamin D in your body. But first, you should know the facts!

What do you need to know?

  1. The sun’s UV rays even on cloudy or hazy days throughout the year, not just summertime, can lead to cellular damage, early wrinkling, age spots, and skin cancer.
  2. 10 am to 4 pm (DST), particularly in late spring and early summer, are peak danger hours for sun exposure.
  3. Adolescence is the most hazardous time for sun damage which can manifest itself in early wrinkling or cancer many decades later. Avoid indoor tanning.
  4. Skin cancer, including basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma, is the most common form of cancer in the U.S.
  5. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma are easily treated if discovered early. Melanoma, the most serious and potentially deadly form of skin cancer, can also be treated if discovered early. It affects more men than women, and more men than women die from it.

What are the tell-tale signs of melanoma? Use the ABCDE test for moles or skin spots.

  1. Asymmetry: unmatched halves
  2. Border: irregular, ragged edges
  3. Color: uneven shades of black, brown, or tan (sometimes white, red, or blue) within one spot
  4. Diameter: usually larger size than a pencil eraser
  5. Evolving: changing appearance of your mole

How can you protect yourself and your children?

  1. Stay in the shade during the middle of the day.
  2. Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs if you must work outside.
  3. Select a wide-brimmed hat that shelters not just your face, but your neck, ears, and eyes, as well.
  4. Wear wrap-around sunglasses to protect your eyes from cataracts and generally blurred vision.
  5. Use sunscreen SPF 15 or above that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. (Don’t forget to check the expiration date.) Reapply after swimming or two+ hours in the sun.

Stay safe, and enjoy your summer!

______________________________________________________________________________

Plastic surgeons at Abington Surgical Center biopsy and surgically remove all forms of skin cancer. If you’re not sure what you have, don’t wait. Contact your physician to learn more and to schedule an appointment today. Need a referral to a plastic surgeon? Please call our Referral Coordinator: 267-960-1440.