Skin Cancer Awareness Month Reminds us to be Mindful

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skin careAnti-aging treatments such as Botox, dermal fillers, and laser procedures are very popular today. Why? Because we want to keep our skin looking its best even in the face of aging! We understand the appeal of smooth, soft, beautiful skin, and we offer our patients both surgical and non-surgical methods of rejuvenation. With all the attention that the skin gets, we must remember that the signs of aging may also be an indication of sun damage; and where there is sun damage, there is a risk of skin cancer. During Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we want to discuss the subject of skin cancer with you.

An Unhealthy Pattern

Statistics show that most people don’t actually start taking decent care of their skin until well past their youth. Basically, trends show that around the age of 40 to 50, when the signs of aging and UV damage become difficult to ignore, is when most people stand up and take notice.

A Look at Skin Cancer

Skin cancer can occur at any time and on any person. The three types of skin cancer that are most often diagnosed include basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas and melanoma. The last type is the one most feared due to the potential for death. However, melanoma is also the least frequently diagnosed form of skin cancer. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, while concerning, tend to have a good prognosis when treated in earlier stages.

Although every person should be mindful about UV exposure and the risk of skin cancer, there are certain factors that carry an increased risk:

  • Excessive UV exposure by tanning, including indoor tanning beds
  • Light skin that burns easily
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Severe sunburns, especially during childhood
  • Numerous freckles or moles

Tips for Prevention

To protect your skin from UV damage, consider the following:

  • Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides UVA and UVB protection. Choose a sunscreen based on your activity level. For instance, a moisturizer with SPF 15 may be appropriate to get you to and from work, but not for a day at the pool. When you plan to be outdoors for more than a few minutes, choose an appropriate sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Protect your eyes and face from sun damage with a wide-brimmed hat or ball cap.
  • Cover your shoulders and back when possible if you are spending a day outdoors. You may not want to wear a long-sleeved shirt, but this is ideal. Another option is to throw your towel over your shoulders if you cannot be in the shade.

To learn more about refreshing the appearance of your skin, call (504) 378-2030.

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