Protecting yourself from skin cancer is particularly important when you live in a state as sunny as Florida. If you have plenty of outdoor activities planned this summer, you'll want to protect yourself from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays. The dermatologists at Florida Dermatology Associates in Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Titusville, and Cocoa, FL, share a few tips that will help you reduce your skin cancer risk.
Don't leave the house without applying sunscreen
You're exposed to the sun the moment you step outdoors, even if you're only making a quick trip to pick up a gallon of milk. Before you leave the house, apply sunscreen to every exposed area of your body. Apply the product to your skin at least 15 minutes before you go outside. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using products that offer a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30. Although sunscreen with higher SPF numbers increases protection, the difference is very slight.
Are you looking for a more natural, chemical-free sunscreen product? Our Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Titusville, and Cocoa doctors offer a mineral-based sunscreen that you may want to try. No matter what type of sunscreen you use, remember to reapply it often during the day, particularly if you sweat or spend the day at the beach or pool.
Plan your outdoor activities carefully
Avoid going outside when the sun's rays are the strongest. Instead, schedule activities before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m.
Seek the shade
Take advantage of shady areas, beach umbrellas, and covered porches to decrease your exposure to the sun. Even if you do plan to spend most of the day in the shade, be sure to still wear sunscreen. Shade may lower sun exposure, but it doesn't eliminate it entirely.
Hats, long-sleeve rashguards, and sunglasses help reduce your skin cancer risk. Wear them when you plan to be outdoors.
Examine your skin
Pay attention to moles that grow larger or change appearance, blemishes that never go away, or sores that don't heal. If you notice any of these symptoms, visit one of our offices. Prompt treatment is essential in treating skin cancer.
Are you concerned about a change in a mole or another skin problem? Call the dermatologists at Florida Dermatology Associates to schedule an appointment at any of our offices: Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Titusville, and Cocoa, FL.