Today marks the first day of summer! Oh how I've longed for hot, beach weather on those painfully cold winter nights. All I wanted was some some warm weather. And it's finally here! As we start to put on those sundresses, bathing suits and daisy duke shorts, be sure to also put on some sunscreen and use other precautions to protect that beautiful melanin. Here's why...
People who have dark skin tones often believe they’re not at risk for skin cancer, but that is a dangerous misconception, says dermatologist Maritza I. Perez, MD, a senior vice president of The Skin Cancer Foundation. Contrary to what a lot of people with darker skin tones believe, people of all races can get skin cancer. Sure, our darker skin produces more of the pigment called melanin that does help protect our skin — but only to a certain extent. If the sun is kissing our skin a little too much we can get sunburned and potentially develop skin cancer from UV damage. Additionally, too much exposure to the sun can lead to premature skin aging and we can't have that FABS!
Moreover, certain skin cancers are caused by factors other than UV such as genetics or environmental affects and may occur on body parts that are rarely exposed to the sun. For instance, people with dark skin tones are more susceptible to acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM), the deadliest form of skin cancer that typically appears on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. (Jamaican legend Bob Marley died of ALM at the young age of 36).
Skin cancer is the easiest form of cancer to treat if detected early. It is important to check your skin monthly for any irregularities and visit the dermatologist annually. For most insurance companies, visiting the dermatologist for an annual exam is covered under preventative care.
Here are some tips to protect your skin:
Be sure to purchase a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30. Sunscreen should be re-applied every 2 hours if you are planning on being in the sun for a long span of time.
Stay Inside During Peak Hours
UV rays from sunshine are strongest in the middle of the day, which means damage to your skin occurs faster. Protect your skin by staying indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Get Some Shade
If you plan to be out in the sun for a long period of time, sit in a shaded area, use an umbrella and don't forget your sunglasses. I know that you like to be cute in your shades but be sure to choose sunglasses with that filter UV radiation. Protect those eyes!
Keep that Flawless and Fabulous skin protected this summer!
Skin Cancer Foundation