Skin cancers are one of the most common types of cancer in the US today. But the reality is that most skin cancers are preventable. Stellar board certified dermatologist and fellowship trained Mohs surgeon Dr. Jamie McGinness provides skin cancer treatments to patients in Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and other places.
Tips for Prevention
Avoid Direct Sun Exposure
As far as possible, avoid sun exposure during mid-day. The sun’s rays are strongest typically between 10 am and 4 pm. Schedule outdoor activities for other times of the day, even in winter or on a cloudy day. Avoiding the sun at its strongest will help avoid the sunburns and suntans that cause skin damage and increase the risk of developing skin cancer.
Use Sunscreen Year-Round
Although sunscreens cannot filter out all the harmful UV radiation, they do play a vital role in an overall sun protection program. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more often when swimming or perspiring. Use a generous amount of sunscreen in all exposed areas, including the backs of hands and neck, lips, and tips of the ears.
Wear Protective Clothing
When outdoors, cover your skin with dark clothes, particularly the arms and legs. Use a broad brimmed hat for extra protection. Specialized photo-protective clothing is also available. Consult a dermatologist to choose the appropriate specialized clothing. Using sunglasses is a good idea too because it can block both UVA and UVB rays.
Avoid Tanning Beds
Many people want a tanned look of the skin, and may want to use tanning beds. But it is strongly advisable to avoid tanning beds. Lights used in tanning beds emit UV rays, which can increase the risk of skin cancer. Board certified dermatologist Dr. McGinness provides detailed advice and tips to patients about how to prevent skin cancer.
Stay Alert for Sun Sensitizer Drugs
Some common prescription and non-prescription medications, including antibiotics, can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Therefore, check with the physician about the side effects of any medications you take. If they increase your sensitivity to sunlight, take extra precautions to protect your skin.
Periodic Skin Evaluation
Keep checking your skin often and visit a dermatologist periodically for a detailed evaluation. If you notice any changes to the skin, such as new skin growths or change in shape of the existing moles, bumps, freckles or birthmarks, report these to the dermatologist.
Sun Protection while Driving
A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed that 53 percent of skin cancers in the US occur on the left, or drivers’ side of the body. The authors of the study said that the increase in left-sided skin cancers may be from the UV exposure acquired when driving a car.
Use transparent window film to screen out UVB and UVA without reducing visibility. But remember that it protects only when the windows are closed. Remarkable and board certified dermatologist Dr. McGinness receives patients from Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and other suburbs and neighborhoods in this part of the Midwest for skin care solutions.
If you would like to learn more about procedures and treatments at Metro East Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center by Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Jamie L. McGinness please contact us here or call (618) 622-SKIN (7546)
Taking new patients in and around the greater St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois area: East St. Louis, Shiloh, Belleville, Millstadt, Saint Clair County, Madison County and more.