Summer will be here before we know it – barbecues, swimming, camping, and SUN. Along with all of summer’s wonderful activities come sunburns, which can lead to skin damage and aging, and potentially skin cancer. What do you need to know to protect yourself from sun damage and skin cancer? How do you spot the warning signs? Here is a refresher on practicing safe sun and summer skincare!
Know your ABCDE’s! Check yourself regularly for suspicious and potentially cancerous moles or other spots. Know the signs. See a dermatologist.
A) Asymmetry: Normal moles are symmetrical – even on all sides.
B) Borders: Normal moles have clear, distinct borders.
C) Color: An unusual or uneven mole color could be an indicator of a cancerous mole.
D) Diameter: A mole larger than the diameter of a standard pencil eraser may be suspicious.
E) Evolution: Changes over time – of color, shape, and size – can also be an indicator of skin cancer.
Make a habit of regularly checking your skin for any birth marks, freckles, and moles. Get to know your skin and what has always been there, so you notice any changes that may happen. You can ask someone you trust to keep an eye on you too! They may notice areas that you don’t normally see or aren’t easily visible to you (such as the back of your neck, tops of ears, etc.) You can also establish a relationship with a dermatologist who can monitor your skin. Another good idea, if you have any moles or marks, is to snap a quick picture of the spot. That way you can see if it is changing over time.
When in doubt, see your dermatologist! When caught quickly, most skin cancers can be treatable.
Avoiding sun damage in the first place is, without a doubt, the best way to prevent aging. When you are using sunscreen, follow a few simple guidelines to get the best coverage and results. Always apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes prior to being in the sun. This gives it a chance to “soak in”. When in the sun, re-apply at least hourly or any time you’ve been in the water or sweating (even if your sunscreen claims to be sweat and water proof). You can also wear lightweight clothing to help protect you. Long sleeved shirts, loose fitting pants, and hats are all great ideas. Stay in the shade when possible or take a break indoors. Try to minimize time in the sun during peak sun and heat hours, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Even though Summer is the peak season for sun damage, remember that using an SPF is a YEAR ROUND skincare practice! UV rays are still present even in the winter, even when it’s cloudy!
Aveda makes several great products designed to keep your skin and hair looking young and healthy in and out of the sun:
If you’d like advice or guidance specific to your skin, make an appointment for a facial with Dana or Christina. All of our facials are customized to your skincare concerns, and include a home care plan and product recommendations. As always, you are also welcome to just pop in and ask us about products or skincare questions any time during our open hours. Have a great summer! We look forward to seeing you soon here at Studio 16!
Written by Christina, Esthetician/Lash Artist