The more time you spend in the sun, the higher your skin cancer risk. Our Indianapolis, Batesville and Tipton, IN, dermatologist, Dr. Sonya Campbell Johnson, shares a few tips that will help you avoid this potentially dangerous disease.
Long sleeves, pants, and hats prevent the sun's rays from penetrating your skin. Stay comfortable by wearing lightweight fabrics that are made with tightly woven fibers to limit penetration.
Wearing sunscreen 365 days a year reduces your risk of developing skin cancer. Although many people don't worry about the effects of the sun during the winter months, burns or skin damage can occur even if it's cold outside. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Remember to reapply the product frequently, especially if you've been in the water.
Enjoy the shade
Find the shadiest spot you can when you spend time outdoors. Although shade doesn't completely protect you from the sun's rays, it will reduce your exposure to the sun.
Protect your eyes
Skin cancer can also occur in and around your eyes. Protect your vision by wearing sunglasses that prevent most of the dangerous rays from reaching your eyes. Wraparound sunglasses offer the highest level of protection, although wearing any type of sunglasses will help reduce your cancer and cataract risk.
Stay away from tanning beds
Contrary to popular belief, tanning beds aren't a safer alternative to sunbathing. If you don't like pale skin, try a spray tanning product instead.
Don't assume you're safe
Maybe you only tan and never burn, or perhaps you're sure that your skin tone protects you from the effects of the sun. Unfortunately, anyone can get skin cancer, even people who never burn or have darker skin tones.
Plan your beach visits
Visiting the beach in the early morning or evening will reduce your sun exposure. Stay away from Indianapolis, Batesville, and Tipton, IN, beaches from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. when the sun's rays are the most intense. If you are on the beach during these hours, reapply sunscreen frequently, use a beach umbrella or canopy, wear a rash guard when you swim and cover-up as soon as you exit the water.
Decrease your skin cancer risk by following these tips. If you happen to notice a strange spot or a change in a mole, call our Indianapolis, Batesville, and Tipton, IN, dermatologist, Dr. Campbell Johnson, to schedule an appointment.