Increased risk for skin cancer
As the day get shorter and winter draws near, the natural tendency is to let your guard down when it comes to protecting your skin from skin cancer. We think of summertime as fun in the sun, but a significant percentage of the population that see winter as a wonderful time for outdoor adventure. Many will trade in their water skis to hit the slopes; others simply enjoy a regular walk in the brisk winter air. The bottom line is that winter outdoor enthusiasts spend almost as much time outdoors as their summer counterparts, and they must be careful because you are at risk for skin cancer in the winter too.
We cannot forget that our skin never takes a day off. Whatever environment you occupy, whether you are sitting at home looking out a window, or hanging off a mountainside, your skin provides non-stop protection from the elements. During the winter, the focus can naturally shift to protecting the skin from frostbite and windburn. However, people often fail to realize that the sun’s Ultra-Violet rays can be just as damaging on a snowy day as they are on the beach. It is important to understand that winter weather can actually increase the negative effects of UV exposure. For example, snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV light. For those who are convinced those cloudy days are safer, in reality, as much as 80 percent of UV rays burn right through the clouds. Thus, wearing sunscreen is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer. You need to re-apply sunscreen often, just as you do in the summer because rain, snow, and strong winds can erode sunscreen protection.
Follow these tips to protect your skin from the damaging effects of winter weather and to reduce your risk of skin cancer:
Use a broad-spectrum (UBA/UVB) sunscreen
- Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas, including the ears, around the eyes, and the hands.
- Reapply every two hours after sweating or exposure to rain or snow.
- Use a moisturizing sunscreen that is lanolin or glycerin based.
- Protect your lips with a lip balm that is an SPF 30 or higher.
Cover up exposed skin
- Wear sunglasses or goggles that offer UV protection.
- Sunglasses or googles should be wraparound or large frames, which will protect the sensitive skin around your eyes.
- When it is applicable, consider a ski mask for even more protection.
- Use extra clothing cover when near water, sand, or snow, because they intensify the damaging rays of the sun.
- If you feel the necessity to be tan, consider using a self-tanning product. Be sure to continue using sunscreen with it.
Anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of your age or skin color. With early detection, skin cancer is highly treatable. Early detection begins by following dermatologists’ directions for monitoring your skin and for self-examination.
Charlotte dermatologist for skin cancer screening
Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte can provide safe and caring treatment in a professional environment. Dr. Nixon and Dr. Haught are board certified dermatologists whose dedication, experience, and knowledge will provide the best possible treatment for your skin, hair, and cosmetic concerns.
Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte also offers medical, cosmetic, and surgical dermatology; including removal of skin cancer. They provide a full range of cosmetic offerings such as skin tightening, fat reduction, chemical peels, Botox treatments, microdermabrasion, and more. They provide treatment for both adult and pediatric patients. Call their office today to schedule a skin cancer screening.