Courtesy of Cy-Fair Hospital
As summer approaches and jeans and turtlenecks are swapped for swimsuits and tank tops, it’s important to remember that protecting yourself against the sun’s harmful rays is the best way to prevent skin cancer and other skin-related diseases.
“The sun’s rays have long term effects,” says Rashmi Sheshadri, M.D., a family medicine physician on staff at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital. “Prolonged exposure can contribute to wrinkles, dryness, and age spots, and could lead to skin cancer.”
When people spend extended periods of time in the sun without proper protection, cells called melanocytes can grow abnormally and become cancerous.
Warning signs include moles, open sores, or crusty bumps. “Become familiar with the marks on your skin and perform regular skin examinations,” advises Dr. Sheshadri. “If you notice anything irregular, notify your doctor immediately.”
You can keep your skin, the body’s largest organ, healthy by wearing sunscreen, lip balm, and protective clothing, and by following these steps:
Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 or higher. Apply it 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. Lather on enough so that it takes a full minute to rub in.
At the beach, spread at least 1 ounce of sunscreen on your face and entire body.
If you swim, sweat, or are outdoors for a long time, apply a water-resistant sunscreen every two hours.
If possible, avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Dr. Sheshadri warns that it’s not just your skin that needs protecting. Excessive UV exposure can also damage your eyes, causing cataracts and macular degeneration. Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors as well.
Join Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital and the Houston Dermatological Society for a free skin cancer check this weekend!
When: Saturday, May 5, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 1 pm.
Where: Cy-Fair Hospital, 10655 Steepletop Drive (F.M. 1960 near Jones Road)
What: Free screenings!
Appointments are required so call 877-763-9467 to save your spot today.