Posts for: April, 2020
With the warmer months just around the corner you may be getting ready to plan some fun in the sun. The summertime always finds children spending hours outside playing, as well as beach-filled family vacations, backyard barbeques, and more days just spent soaking up some much-needed vitamin D.
While it can certainly be great for our emotional and mental well-being to go outside, it’s also important that we are protecting our skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. These are some habits to follow all year long to protect against skin cancer,
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t being exposed to the harmful UVA and UVB rays. The sun’s rays have the ability to penetrate through clouds. So it’s important that you generously apply sunscreen to the body and face about 30 minutes before going outside.
Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that also protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Everyone should use sunscreen, even infants. Just one sunburn during your lifetime can greatly increase your risk for developing skin cancer, so always remember to lather up!
Reapply Sunscreen Often
If you are planning to be outdoors for a few hours you’ll want to bring your sunscreen with you. After all, one application won’t be enough to protect you all day long. A good rule of the thumb to follow is, reapply sunscreen every two hours. Of course, you’ll also want to apply sunscreen even sooner if you’ve just spent time swimming or if you’ve been sweating a lot (e.g. running a race or playing outdoor sports).
Seek Shade During the Day
While feeling the warm rays of the sun on your shoulders can certainly feel nice, the sun’s rays are at their most powerful and most dangerous during the hours of 10am-4pm. If you plan to be outdoors during these times it’s best to seek shady spots. This means enjoying lunch outside while under a wide awning or sitting on the beach under an umbrella. Even these simple measures can reduce your risk for skin cancer.
See a Dermatologist
Regardless of whether you are fair skinned, have a family history of skin cancer or you don’t have any risk factors, it’s important that everyone visit their dermatologist at least once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. This physical examination will allow our skin doctor to be able to examine every growth and mole from head to toe to look for any early signs of cancer. These screenings can help us catch skin cancer early on when it’s treatable.
Noticing changes in one of your moles? Need to schedule your next annual skin cancer screening? If so, a dermatologist will be able to provide you with the proper care you need to prevent, diagnose and treat both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
Follow these helpful tips on how to prevent and detect skin cancer.
Skin cancer is one of the most common types of skin cancer. The good news is that there are steps you can start taking now, if you aren’t already, to reduce your risk for skin cancer. From our dermatologists Dr. Melanie and David Hecker, here are some tips for how to prevent skin cancer and also how to catch warning signs early on.
How to Prevent Skin Cancer
You don’t have to have pale skin or freckles to be worried about skin cancer. The fact of the matter is that anyone can develop skin cancer, which is why everyone should follow these helpful tips for reducing their risk for both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer:
This is probably the best tip you can follow to protect your skin. If you aren’t applying sunscreen every day then you are exposing your skin to the rays of the sun (it only takes about 10 minutes in the sun to get burned). The sun’s rays are powerful enough to even radiate through car and office windows. A good rule of thumb is about 20-30 minutes before going outside generously apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of 30.
Sunscreen isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of habit. If you are spending hours outside, you’ll want to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating (e.g. running outside; playing volleyball on the beach). When applying sunscreen, you should use at least one tablespoon of sunscreen for your body and face.
Seek Out the Shade
If you are planning to go out between 10 am and 4 pm when the UV rays are their strongest, it’s important to seek shade. You can also check the UV index before leaving the house, but it’s highly encouraged to avoid spending extended periods of time in the sun during these hours.
Detecting Skin Cancer Early
It’s important for everyone, no matter their risk level, to visit our dermatologist here in Tamarac, FL, for annual skin cancer screenings. After all, we can spot warning signs that you may miss (especially during those very early stages).
Of course, you should also perform monthly self-exams from head to toe to look for these changes,
- Moles that are asymmetrical or uneven
- Moles with ragged or poorly defined borders
- Moles that are multiple colors or change color
- Growths or moles that are larger than a pencil eraser
- Any moles or growths that change shape, color or size (healthy moles stay relatively the same over time)
- Bleeding, crusting, oozing or painful moles
If you are worried about a troublesome mole or growth, or you are dealing with other symptoms that have you concerned, know that our dermatologists, in Tamarac and Pompano Beach, FL, are still providing care to patients through online telemedicine visits. Book your online visit through Zoc Doc. Of course, if you are dealing with an urgent matter during this time please call Hecker Dermatology Group at (954) 783 2323.
You might be surprised to discover that some of the most innocuous habits could actually be aging you. Preventing fine lines and wrinkles is certainly easier than trying to treat them once they form. While wrinkles are a normal part of life and aging, there are things you can do each and everyday to keep your skin looking young and healthy so you can knock a few years off your age and people will be none the wiser.
Wearing sunscreen each and every day without fail is probably one of the best things you can do to keep your skin looking and feeling its best. Not only does exposing skin to the sun’s rays cause sun damage and increase your risk for skin cancer, it can also cause premature lines and wrinkles. To protect your skin from the sun, always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 every day (even in the winter and on cloudy days).
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is so very important and yet not enough of us get quality sleep every night. Nights of tossing and turning won’t just leave you grumpy, tired and mentally foggy, it can also lead to wrinkles. That’s because a lack of sleep can actually accelerate the signs of aging and can also affect the skin’s ability to repair itself every night. Most adults require anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Are you getting your beauty sleep?
Did you know that as many as 75 percent of US adults suffer from chronic dehydration? This statistic is startlingly and could have a serious impact not just on your health but also on the health and appearance of your skin. If like most people you aren’t getting more than 2.5 cups of water a day, it’s important that you up your water intake to at least 8 8-ounce glasses per day (and even more if you’re active). Staying hydrated keeps the skin looking plump and radiant (and who doesn’t want that?).
Keep Skin Moisturized
Dry skin can also leave you prone to those early signs of aging, so it’s important that you keep skin supple and hydrated. Everyone should use a moisturizer every day, which can improve skin’s glow and also reduce the appearance of facial lines. Those dealing with more severe dry skin may need to turn to their dermatologist for more intense moisturizers.
Sleep on Your Back
If you find yourself snuggling with your pillow night after night you may soon notice fine lines developing on your face as a result. Just changing your sleep position alone can easily prevent these “sleep wrinkles”. If you want to reduce wrinkles on your face avoid sleeping on your side or stomach and sleep on your back instead.
Of course, a dermatologist offers a wide range of cosmetic treatments that can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. From Botox and dermal fillers to customized facials, laser treatments and chemical peels, there are many options out there to help you achieve a younger appearance. Talk to your dermatologist today about ways to prevent and treat wrinkles.