Summer is here, that means poolside lounging, beach vacations, and day trips to the ocean. All things we love. However, it also means exposure to the sun. While the sun feels good and gives you that glow we all strive for in the summer months, it also has negative effects on your skin. These range from appearance-based effects such as wrinkles and sunspots to more serious issues like skin cancer. Melanoma Awareness Month may have just concluded, but in case you missed it (we know life can get busy!) we have the information you need to make sure your practicing preventative care to reverse the sun’s negative aging effects.
What’s So Bad About Sun Exposure?Well, melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer, is mainly caused by intense, occasional UV exposure. Each year an estimated 9,940 people die in the U.S. due to melanoma. The American Cancer Society estimates that in the U.S. more than 135,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed each year. In 2015, about 73,870 of these will be invasive, with about 42,670 in males and 31,200. Some other factors that need to be considered to prevent skin cancer include your family history, skin tone, and skin care habits. Exposure to the sun without protection also leads to photoaging. Photoaging is skin damage that takes the form of wrinkles, brown spots, and loose skin caused by the sun… yuck! Luckily, this can be prevented and minimized by proper sun protection and just a few tweaks to your daily skincare routine.
Anti-Aging: How to Reverse and Prevent the Sun’s EffectsYou deserve to look as young as you feel. With that being said, anti-aging medicine starts with the metabolic approach to nutrition, diet, exercise, and supplementation with vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. You can also take preventative measures to protect your skin from the sun. Here are some tips to follow with your day-to-day skincare, not just when you’re lounging on the beach!
5 Quick Tips
- Daily application of sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to areas vulnerable to the sun’s rays will not only help prevent photoaging, but can reverse some of the signs you might already have. When you know you’re going to be outside for long periods of time, use water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply two tablespoons of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Then, reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming.
- Do not burn. We promise, burning is not a healthy way to get that glow. Your skin will thank us later! Instead, use moisturizers that have bronzers in them.
- Avoid tanning and never use UV tanning beds. Just say no!
- Examine your skin head to toe every month. Check out this helpful pdf for the ABCDE’s of skin cancer (1.1mb)
- Asymmetry- One half unlike the other half.
- Border-Irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.
- Color- Varied from one area to another.
- Diameter- Melanomas are usually greater than 6 mm, but they can be smaller.
- Evolving- A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest.