Now that spring has finally arrived, you'll probably spend more time outdoors, and with more skin showing as the temperatures rise.
You've heard the speech before about the importance of sunscreen, but a new study shows the message is more important than ever for middle-aged women, who are seeing a big increase in melanoma cases.
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer. It's a serious disease and can even be fatal. A recent study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings
found that melanoma cases among people in their 40s, 50s and 60s are almost 8 times higher than they were 40 years ago.
The biggest jump was for women in their 40s. Some have blamed a trend toward tanned skin for the increase in skin cancer rates in this group. But whatever is to blame, two things are clear: we need to be more vigilant about wearing sunscreen, and we need regular skin cancer screenings.
You can get skin cancer screenings through your primary physician, dermatologist, or when you come see us here at Savannah Plastic Surgery. Our Skin Institute and New Youth Laser Center can also help recommend a quality sunscreen to protect your skin from damage.
If you're going to be outdoors, always remember these important tips:
- Wear sunscreen on exposed skin, even on cloudy days. The sun's ultraviolet radiation can penetrate through clouds, so just because it's overcast doesn't mean your skin isn't affected.
- Make sure your sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB rays, both of which can cause cancer.
- If you have skin problems or allergies, look for a sunscreen that is hypo-allergenic so you can wear it comfortably.
- If you're going to be in the water or sweating, be sure to use a water/sweat-resistant sunscreen and reapply often.