Summer time is the season for skin cancer treatment in Washington DC. You’ve taken care of yourself through winter and spring, eating well and hydrating, using the right topical products, and consulting with the best dermatologists in Washington DC. Now summer is arriving and it’s a time that many of us want to show some skin. Remember, however, that protecting yourself is important. One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in his or her lifetime and the risk of contracting cancer becomes 1000 times more likely with just one burn. Even with the most expert skin cancer treatment Washington DC has to offer, an ounce of prevention is, as they say, worth a pound of cure. Everyone should, therefore, wear sunscreen. Like all of our organs, our skin has natural defense mechanisms in place. Melanin, your skin’s natural pigmentation, protects you from the sun’s harsh rays, which may cause aging and worse, skin cancer. Therefore, the more pigmentation you have, i.e. the darker your skin, the less susceptible you are to skin cancer. However, our bodies’ natural defense mechanisms often fall short, and those with darker skin tend to experience more aggressive forms of skin cancer with a higher fatality rate.
Most of us have heard that we should wear sunscreen, especially now as the incidence of skin cancer is rising, with a 200 percent increase of squamous cell carcinoma occurrences in the last 30 years, according to skincancer.org. But how do you know you’re properly protecting yourself? How do we know that we are applying it properly, with the right strength, frequency and quantity, so we can avoid skin cancer treatment in Washington DC down the line?
- SPF 30 or higher- SPF (Sun Protectant Factor) 30 is considered the safe sunblock for almost everyone. Anything below is considered too weak. Anything above makes little difference and is usually just overkill.
- Watch your back- Because they can be hard to reach, our backs are the hardest places to apply sunblock, and the most susceptible to burns. Find someone you feel comfortable with to apply sunblock to your back.
- Reapply- Sunblock only lasts so long. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle and reapply regularly.
- Broad Spectrum- Choose a broad spectrum sunblock, to protect yourself from the greatest variety of harmful rays.
- Go water resistant- According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sunscreens can no longer claim to be waterproof or sweatproof. They may be water resistant, which lasts about 40 to 80 minutes. Remember to follow the bottle’s instructions and reapply your sunscreen, especially after sweating or going in the water.
DC is full of wonderful paths to run, trails to hike and nearby beaches to drive to and catch some sun. If you want to enjoy the outdoors without worrying too much about skin cancer, we urge you to apply about one ounce of SPF 30 sunblock before venturing outside, and reapplying regularly. For more information on skin cancer prevention and treatment in Washington DC, contact our Washington DC dermatologists today.