Living in the Tampa Bay area can lead to skin cancer if you are not careful. Florida is not only closer to the equator and quite tropical, but since the temperature is warm most of the year people tend to forget to take appropriate measures to protect their skin. Instead, they bask in the sun year round without a care, until they begin to show signs of skin damage.
To guard against the dangers of skin cancer you should remember the following tips:
- Use sunscreen. It should protect against UVB and UVA rays and have a SPF of 30 or more. Put it on at least 20 minutes before going outside so it has time to be absorbed into the skin, and reapply it every two hours you are in the sun. If you are swimming or sweating reapply it every hour.
- Don’t be fooled by a cloudy day. Most of the sun’s rays can filter through and you can get a nasty burn without sunscreen application.
- Between eleven in the morning and four in the afternoon is when the UV rays are the strongest. Avoid long-term sun exposure during these times.
- You can burn in direct sunlight, as well as with the reflection of the sun. Even if you are standing in the shade, the sun’s reflection off of the water you are swimming in, and the sand or concrete where you are standing, can also burn your skin in a short period of time.
- Use a full brim hat. Make sure it covers your ears, as well as your face. Protect your arms and legs with clothing that is tightly woven. This will prevent the sun’s rays from penetrating to your skin.
- Wear sunglasses with UV protection. This will keep the skin around your eyes from getting burnt so you may avoid premature wrinkling. Sunglasses are also the best protection from UVA and UVB rays that cause cataracts.
- Take special care with your children if they are going to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time. Be sure they are wearing a hat, and that their clothing covers their arms and legs. If your children will be swimming, be sure to apply waterproof sunscreen lotion before they enter the water. Don’t permit infants under the age of one to remain in direct sunlight. Place them under a sun umbrella, garden canopy, or tree. Early childhood sun exposure is when people suffer the most damaging effects of UVA rays.
- Keep your eye on irregular freckles or moles that begin to grow or turn color. Take notice if you develop rough patches of skin that itch, turn red, or bleed, or appear like a small scab or sore that will not go away. If one appears, report it to your dermatologist immediately to get relief with preventative treatment. Never let these areas go unchecked or untreated, because they will progressively get worse.
- Never use a tanning bed. They cause premature aging and skin cancer by exposing the skin to two to five times UVA radiation as natural sunlight.
There are four types of skin cancers. Basal cell is the most common, followed by squamous cell. The most dangerous type is melanoma, and then the least common, actinic keratosis, is a condition that can turn into skin cancer. It is important to protect yourself from all four forms of skin cancer. This can be accomplished by visiting a dermatologist annually to check for signs of skin damage and any of these potentially dangerous conditions.
Bay Dermatology in the Tampa Bay area has several conveniently located offices. With over a dozen Board Certified Dermatologists on staff, they can take care of your skin cancer issues, as well as, acne, enlarged pores, premature wrinkling, hypigmentation, mole, wart, cyst, and freckle removal, melasma, and blotchy skin. They offer a variety of skin peels, including trichloroacetic acid peels, salicylic mandelic peels, beta lift peels, Jessner’s peel, Jessner’s and retinoic acid peel, and glycolic peels, which help eliminate various skin problems. These can be applied to the neck, face, chest, or any other part of the body affected by an unwanted skin condition.
They also offer other wonderful preventative treatments, like a cellular anti-aging facial, a deep pore cleansing facial, and a European facial. You can receive Fraxel repair laser treatment, sclerotherapy, fingernail treatment, psoriasis treatment, Botox, a forehead and brow lift, and treatment for many other skin related afflictions.
With offices in St. Pete Beach, Tampa, Largo, Port Richey, Spring Hill, and Palm Harbor, you can easily arrange your annual skin checkup to be sure it remains healthy and cancer free. These offices can be reached through their toll-free number, 1-866-967-3376.
Education, common sense, and prevention are always the best medicine, so use them and take care of yourself.