Five Ways to Keep Your Skin Healthy This Summer

Northwestern Medicine
Dermatology June 14, 2012

Sun SafetyGood times spent outside with family and friends this summer can easily distract you from practicing sun safety and lead to dangerous health problems. Jill Weinstein, MD, a dermatologist at Northwestern Memorial Physician’s Group, explains, “I’ve seen countless patients who dismissed sun dangers diagnosed with skin cancer due to sun exposure.” Weinstein says there are five tips that everyone should remember to keep their skin healthy over the next few months and year-round.

Know Your ABCD’s
A change in size, shape, color or feel of an existing mole often indicates the first signs of melanoma, the most dangerous form of cancer. Keep a close eye on your body and remember “ABCD.”

  • Asymmetry, take note of moles where the shape of one half of the mole does not match the other.
  • Border, watch for moles where the edges are ragged, notched, blurred, or irregular in outline.
  • Color, watch for moles where the color uneven, multiple colors or very dark brown or black.
  • Diameter, watch for a change in size, especially an increase.

Wear sunscreen daily
Wear sunscreen every day with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Reapply every two hours, after swimming or excessively sweating, and to cover the entire body, including the ears, tops of the feet, and the scalp.

Dress right, dress light
Wear light natural fabric clothing that covers your skin. It will protect you from the sun, and keep you cool by absorbing sweat.

Get a tan without the sun
Instead of risking overexposure and your health, get a summer glow by using use sunless tanning creams, sprays, or mousses. Don’t forget the sunscreen; many of these creams do not contain SPF.

Limit your exposure
Avoid over exposure during the sun’s strongest hours, typically between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Taking simple, preventative steps to protect your skin from the sun’s rays will allow everyone to enjoy the sun safely this season,” said Weinstein.

For more information on how to keep your skin healthy this summer read the full press release.

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