Smart skin care is part of a healthy lifestyle that can result in beautiful and healthy skin.
In addition to the aesthetic benefit of smooth, pigment and wrinkle free skin, smart skin care can also reduce the incidence of developing skin cancer. Proper Sun Protection is the foundation to smart skin care.
The following Skin Safety Guidelines apply to your entire family:
- Avoid outdoors between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, when UV light is strongest
- Be especially careful on the beach or in areas with snow because sand, water, and snow reflect sunlight, increasing the amount of UV radiation you absorb
- UV rays reach the ground, even on cloudy or hazy days
- Some UV rays can also pass through windows. Typical car, home, and office windows block most UVB rays but a smaller portion of UVA rays, so even if you don’t feel you’re getting burned your skin may still get some damage
- Avoid tanning beds
- Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or long skirts cover the most skin
- Dark colors generally provide more protection than light colors
- A tightly woven fabric protects better than loosely woven clothing
- Dry fabric is generally more protective than wet fabric
- Be aware that covering up doesn’t block out all UV rays. If you can see light through a fabric, UV rays can get through
- Wear a broad brimmed hat
- Wear sunglasses that are labelled to block UV rays
- There are a number of special sun-protective clothing lines, e.g. Coolibar.com
- UVA/UVB sunscreens with SPF of 30 or higher are recommended.
- Sun protection factor (SPF): The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays. For example, when applying an SPF 30 sunscreen correctly, you get the equivalent of 1 minute of UVB rays for each 30 minutes you spend in the sun. So, 1 hour in the sun wearing SPF 30 sunscreen is the same as spending 2 minutes totally unprotected.
- Sunscreens labeled with SPFs as high as 100+ are available. Higher numbers do mean more protection, but many people don’t understand the SPF scale. SPF 15 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97%, SPF 50 sunscreens about 98%, and SPF 100 about 99%. The higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes. No sunscreen protects you completely.
- Apply sunscreen generously. When putting it on, pay close attention to your face, ears, neck, arms, and any other areas not covered by clothing.
- Ideally, about a palmful should be used to cover the arms, legs, neck, and face of the average adult. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied at least every 2 hours to maintain protection. Sunscreens can wash off when you sweat or swim and then wipe off with a towel, so they might need to be reapplied more often.
- Most cancers can be detected and treated if found early
- A Dermatologist’s full body exam is recommended annually
- It is additionally prudent to perform a total body self-exam on a monthly basis. For hard to examine body areas, consider enlisting assistance from a spouse/friend
- Learn the pattern of moles, blemishes, freckles, and other marks on your skin so that you’ll notice any changes the next time
- Smoking causes wrinkles and a sallow complexion-avoid totally
- Avoid second hand smoke
- Eat healthy- fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, fish oil. Avoid unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates. Drink water!
- Nightly application to the face of a prescription strength retinoid cream which can be obtained from a medical professional can not only improve skin texture and complexion but can also decrease the incidence of developing skin cancer
Good skin care will delay natural aging and minimize the incidence of skin cancer. Wishing you and your family much good health!