Guard against skin cancer in the fall and winter
Skin cancer prevention is just as important when the temperature drops, or you haven’t seen much of the sun. Unfortunately, many people think that soon they will not need to worry about wearing sunscreen. Even on cloudy days, it’s important to take steps to guard against this and aging. It is a scientific fact that harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays are present year-around. They even filter through dark clouds and can reach our skin. In fact, whenever you’re outside, uncovered areas of your body can be exposed to UV rays, and the primary cause of this is too much sun exposure.
Skin cancer is prevalent
Did you know that more than two million Americans are diagnosed with this each year? This is according to the American Cancer Society, making skin cancer the most common type of cancer in the United States. It is also one of the easiest types of cancer to prevent. The most serious form of skin cancer is malignant melanoma. Other types of skin cancer include basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Hence, it is important to wear sunscreen year-around to reduce one’s chances of getting skin cancer.
Winter risk activities
For those of us that live in the Northern Hemisphere, during winter, the earth’s axis points us away from the sun. This allows the atmosphere to block some of the sun’s harmful UV rays. That is why temperatures drop; because the sun’s rays are further away. Nevertheless, if you are outside, you are still at risk for skin cancer and skin damage. For Charlotte residents and those who live in the Southeastern U.S., the amount of UV radiation from the sun doesn’t drop very much during winter months. The UV rays can be strong regardless of the season or the temperature.
How to protect your skin during the cooler months
Don’t let cloudy or cold days fool you into skipping sunscreen. Keep up good sunscreen habits every day of the year. Consider the following year-round sunscreen tips:
- Wear sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30 and is broad spectrum to block both UVA and UVB rays
- Use SPF 30 lip balm
- Apply sunscreen to dry skin about 30 minutes before going outdoors
- Be sure to cover exposed skin on your face, ears, hands, and arms
- For sensitive skin, it’s best to use sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after rain or sweating
Applying sunscreen regularly also decreases your chances for cold weather sunburns, and will reduce your risk dramatically.
Skin cancer screening in Charlotte, NC
Your risk for this can depend upon many factors. If you are finding it difficult to live with your condition, Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte can provide high quality and innovative treatment in a caring and professional environment. Dr. Nixon is a board-certified dermatologist, whose dedication, experience, and knowledge will provide the best possible treatment for your cosmetic and medical dermatology concerns.
Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte also offers surgical dermatology. 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 Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte office today for a skin care evaluation and skin cancer screening, or for any other skin condition.