May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and a good time to reconsider your relationship with the sun. Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to UV rays, both natural and artificial, and can develop anywhere on the body. Protecting yourself from UV rays is, therefore, one of the best defenses against this, the most common form of cancer.
You can help prevent the worst damage by avoiding direct sun exposure during peak times, typically from 10 am to 3 pm. Seek shade during these times.
You can further reduce risks by:
- Wearing long sleeves and pants
- Wearing a sun hat that covers the face, ears, and neck
- Wearing sunglasses with full-spectrum UV protection
- Using a quality sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher
There are several options for sunscreens, but not all are equally protective. Some even contain harmful chemicals that may do more to disrupt the endocrine system than to prevent cancer. Selecting a high-quality sunscreen with efficacious and proven safe ingredients is the best bet. We offer Essential Defense Mineral Shield SPF 35, a non-toxic sunscreen that has been formulated for all skin types, making this full spectrum sunscreen safe even for the most sensitive skin.
Treating Sun Damage
Pre-cancerous lesions can often be removed with non-surgical treatments such as laser skin resurfacing, but malignant cancer cells will need to be removed through surgery. If you have developed an abnormal growth on your body, seeking a prompt medical diagnosis will help to determine the next best steps.
More common than cancer is the general damage the sun does to the skin. This includes sunspots and freckles, dry and red skin, and fine lines and deep wrinkles. Unlike skin cancer, these can all be treated with non-surgical cosmetic services such as:
- Laser Skin Resurfacing
- IPL Photofacial
- Chemical Peel
While treatment of sun damage is effective, prevention is typically the best course of action. Taking steps to prevent sun damage, such as wearing protective clothing, and using professional skincare products to address daily stress and damage will both help to reduce the impact the sun has on your skin.
If the sun has altered your appearance, we’re here to help. Call our Leawood office at 913-341-2188 to schedule your initial consultation and learn more.