Skin Cancer Awareness Month kicks off today, and with it, we wanted to share tips for how to keep your skin protected. This is serious business — skin cancer is the most common cancer, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, and Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is the most common cancer for 25- to 29-year-olds. Washington DC-based dermatologist, Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, shared with me her summer skin safety tips. Think you can do these this summer?
1. Wear sunscreen — broad spectrum SPF 30 or more is a must. Reapply every two to three hours when you are in direct sunlight. For the body, try Blue Lizard Sunscreen, Sensitive, $24. For your face, try Elta MD Skincare UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30 Plus, $23.
2. Stay out of the sun during peak hours (10am – 2pm). When you are out, wear hats, sunglasses, long sleeves and do your best to find shade.
3. Get a full-skin exam by your dermatologist. I did mine last week and it took ten minutes. That’s it. Do it once a year. Also, check your own skin every few months to determine if any skin lesions are changing size, shape or color. Schedule your appointment now — if you always have your appointment around Melanoma Monday, you’ll have a built-in reminder. To find a free cancer screening near you, visit the American Academy of Dermatology at aad.org.
4. If a mole has changed in size, shape or color, have it checked out immediately, says Dr. Tanzi.
5. Try a powder sunscreen. I’ve been using Tickle Time Mineral Powder Sunblock, $35, and I also dust it on my kids to reapply — it’s much easier than holding them still to slather their cheeks with cream while they are playing at the park.
6. No tanning beds. Ever. Ever. Ever.
For more stories like this, check out What You Should Know About Sunscreen Before Slathering It On and Beauty Problem Solvers of the Week: Natural Sunscreens
When’s the last time you got your skin checked?