Warning – You Can Still Get Sun Burned in the Fall!
Even though fall is just around the corner, this can be one of the most dangerous times of the year for sun burn and even sun poisoning. You probably have been diligent about applying sunscreen to yourself and your family all summer long. After all, you’ve heard and read the warnings about skin damage and skin cancer being caused by overexposure to the sun. Now as fall approaches, you may become lax about the need for sun screen but BEWARE, the sun and its harmful rays can be just as dangerous now as it was all summer long. In fact, you need to get accustomed to applying sunscreen all year long when heading outdoors.
The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that more than 90 percent of all skin cancers are associated with the sun, which emits cancer-causing ultraviolet (UV) radiation year round. It’s not just the sunburns that usually occur during the summer or on vacation, but that they are all associated with skin cancer. They can become accumulative over your lifetime of exposure.
Out raking leaves or attending an outdoor football game can really be fun, but such activity can also cause you to receive intense sun exposure, just like the kind you can get from a tropical vacation in the summer. Intense, intermittent sun exposure is a pattern of periodic concentrated UV exposure that severely damages the skin. It often causes sunburn, and may lead to melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma can also be caused by intense, intermittent sun exposure. This is the most common form of skin cancer and is estimated that 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the US.
Protection Year Round
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone develop a year round sun protection regimen to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
- Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
- Do not burn.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
- Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
- Self Examination – Check head-to-toe every month.
Dr. Marcus Goodman at Goodman Dermatology in Roswell, GA recommends his patients see him at least once a year for a complete skin check from head to toe. Dr. Goodman and his staff are experienced in diagnosing and treating all types of skin cancers. Detecting early is one of the main keys for reducing life threatening skin cancer.