Helpful Tips for Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Cynthia Bailey, MD|May 13, 2014

 

Skin Cancer Awareness Month takes place each May, and it’s perfect timing! The weather is finally beautiful, which means you'll be outside more

But ... are you ready? Do you have new broad spectrum sunscreens for the season? Are you absolutely sure you know what to look for in broad spectrum sunscreens? Do you have a broad spectrum sunscreen that you love wearing every day?

You need the right sunscreens right now because now is when you should be wearing them.

 You need - at a minimum - a broad spectrum sunscreen product that you love, that you can trust, and that you will wear every day on

  • the sides of your neck
  • your ears
  • the backs of your hands
  • the v of your chest, if exposed

If your legs, arms, or other body parts are out in the sun they need sunscreen too! 3 questions to ask yourself as you prepare to enjoy your time outside in the beautiful weather:

  1. What daily wear sunscreen product will I (and do I) like to use on all of my sun-exposed skin every day?
  2. Do I have a water-resistant sunscreen for times I know I'll be hot and sweaty; times like when I go for a hike, work in the garden, walk the dog, or go for a swim? (My advice is to use that same sunscreen every day on the back of your hands too).
  3. Are my lips protected?  (Your lips are very vulnerable to the sun. Sun exposure on your lips will age their appearance and can cause lip cancer – you don’t want that, trust me).

To help you find the right sunscreen for your needs I've created a very concise chart that compares the broad spectrum sunscreens I recommend to my dermatology patients. It will answer your questions about sunscreens and you'll see the main differences between products so that you can pick ones that are right for you. My chart is very “just the facts ma’am” so you can quickly sort through your choices. Remember, if you don't have the right sunscreen product for your skin and your activities, you'll start racking up more sun damage. Time to get your sun protection gear in order and then go outside and play!

Remember too, you need an annual full skin exam to screen for skin cancer. Let Skin Cancer Awareness month be your reminder!  Skin cancer is the most common cancer you and your loved ones are at risk for.  Skin cancer can start any time in life. Early skin cancer is often easily treated, but it's also often very subtle.  Schedule your full skin exam with a board-certified dermatologist; we're trained skin cancer experts.

This month you can also get screened for skin cancer FREE at one of the many skin cancer screening events sponsored by the American Academy of Dermatology.  Click here to find a free skin cancer screening event near you.  

Get a full skin exam and keep your skin sun safe - enjoy the warm weather with peace of mind!

I'm writing a Skin Cancer Awareness Month article series for you to explain exactly what you need to know in order to protect your skin from UV rays. I'll also explain why this is important. I am also going to answer some of the most common questions that I'm asked by patients, friends, and family about sun exposure.  I'm a pro at sun protection. I'm personally motivated, professionally motivated, and have the right education and training, but most of all, my patients bring me the proof of what works and what doesn't.  I've collected the evidence. I love debunking marketing hype and I want your skin healthy and protected too, so stay tuned.

There is so much skin-care nonsense out there. I appreciate getting practical, accurate information.  Martha

Do you have questions about sun screen products right now?  

Click here for my sunscreen comparison chart - "just facts ma'am nothing but the facts!"

Or, skip straight to

Dr. Bailey’s Sunscreen Quick Pick Favorites Product Guide

Facial sunscreens by skin type: skin cancer awreness month: sunscreen for dry face skin Suntegrity 5 in 1 Natural Suntegrity 5 in 1 BB Cream SPF 30 Sunscreen, tinted and moisturizing for dry to normal skin         best mattifying sunscreen for oily face skin mdsolarsciencesMDSolarSciences SPF 30 Sunscreen, tinted and mattifying for oily skin         skin cancer awareness month: sunscreen for normal to oily face skin Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46EltaMD Clear SPF 46 Sunscreen, untinted, light weight facial sunscreen for oily to normal skin         All-over sunscreens for face, neck, chest, ears, hands, arms, and legs dermatologist favorite all over sunscreen Citrix for skin cancer awareness monthCitrix SPF 40 Sunscreen. Trusted water-resistant protection that’s invisible and easy to use         skin cancer awareness month: best economical broas spectrum family sunscreenSolbar ZincSPF 38 Sunscreen.  Economical and easy to apply quickly to squirmy kids and hairy skin.         Lip Sunscreen Balm best lip balm sunscreen EltaMD for skin cancer awareness monthEltaMD UV Lip Balm SPF 31 Sunscreen for lip protection         And because you will be soooo surprised where the UV rays are... skin cancer awareness month: UV plastic detecting beadsUV Detecto Ring UV-detecting plastic beads to test your UV exposure knowledge!      

  “Zinc oxide sunscreens are the best!... Other people were using SPF 50s and burning.  Because mine had zinc it worked and my skin didn't burn like theirs.”   Brenda W

For more info on sunscreen and sun exposure see my related posts below. Sincerely, Dr. Bailey Skin Care Team If you have found these Skin Cancer Awareness Month and sunscreen  tips helpful, please show your thanks by commenting on, sharing, “liking,” Google+, tweeting, and “pinning,” using the social sharing buttons above and below this blog post with friends and family.   Photo attribution: Thanks and gratitude to © Ian Lishman/Juice Images/Corbis

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