Sun Protection Mistakes you may be Making

skin cancerThe importance of UV protection is so widely discussed; you would think that developing a plan to protect your ski would be easy. The more we meet with patients, the more we realize that it would be a mistake on our part to assume everyone knows what to do and how to do it. Here, we want to talk about the common mistakes that continue to occur in the area of sun protection, and what you should do to reduce your risk of non-melanoma skin cancers.

You apply sunscreen . . .

Once.

One of the biggest mistakes that put people at risk is believing that a single application of sunscreen will protect them for hours on end. This is easy to think when so many products use terms like “waterproof” or “long lasting.” Doing it right: Apply your first round of sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure. Then, apply every two hours after that, as well as¬†anytime you sweat profusely or go swimming.

In small amounts.

Sunscreen does not work as it should unless it is applied in adequate amounts. The face needs a teaspoon (every two hours!). The body typically requires a few ounces of sunscreen in each application. That is about the size of a shot-glass.

That isn’t up to the task.

There is a trick to choosing the sunscreen, and it isn’t what many people believe. A good sunscreen is one that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. You can determine if your product does this by the term “broad spectrum.” If you do not see that term, keep looking for the right product. Also, ingredients such as Mexoryl indicate better filtering of light.

Only on the obvious body parts.

Even when you are religious about your use of sunscreen, forgetting key areas can spell trouble. For instance, the lower lip is particularly vulnerable to UV exposure and is a common site for squamous cell carcinomas. When you apply sunscreen to your face, you should also remember to apply SPF 30 lip balm. Other areas that are easily forgotten are the ears and the back of the neck, as well as the backs of the hands and tops of feet.

If you suspect skin cancer or have been diagnosed, and you want to explore your option for Mohs micrographic surgery, call us in West Yorkshire at 07580 411 350.

Posted in: Mohs Surgery, Skin Cancer

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