The Skin Cancer Foundation has advised sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) use as a vital part of a sun protection regimen since its inception in 1979. However, sunscreen alone will not suffice. Various other preventive steps should be followed as advised by a skin care professional.
Caring board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness and Jackie McGinness, FNP (Nurse Practitioner), who both treat general derm patients, provide skin care treatments to patients in Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and surrounding locations in this area of the Midwest.
Key Guidelines for Sun Protection
- Stay in the shade, specifically between 10 am and 4 pm.
- Avoid tanning and never use UV tanning beds.
- Protect against getting sunburned.
- Cover your body properly including the use of UV-safe sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat.
- Do not expose newborns to the sun, and use sunscreen on babies above six months of age.
- Use one ounce or two tablespoons of sunscreen on the entire body 30 minutes before stepping out, and reapply every two hours or after profuse sweating or swimming.
- Apply a broad spectrum UVA or UVB sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher daily. Use a water-proof, broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for extended time spent outdoors.
- Check your skin from head-to-toe on a monthly basis.
- Visit a dermatologist at least annually for a professional skin examination.
Steps for Melanoma Prevention
Avoid Direct Sun Exposure
It is advisable to avoid sun exposure during mid-day as far as possible. The rays of the sun are usually the strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. Therefore, scheduling outdoor activities at other times during the day is recommended, even on a cloudy day or during winter.
Avoiding the strong rays of the sun can help prevent suntans and sunburns that may damage the skin and increase the risk of cancer development.
Apply Sunscreen throughout the Year
While sunscreens cannot protect from all damaging UV rays, it can play a crucial role in a sun protection regimen. It is advisable to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more, and reapply it every two hours or more frequently when sweating or swimming.
Apply copious amounts of sunscreen in all the areas that are exposed such as the lips, tips of the ears, and backs of the hands and neck.
Wear Protective Clothing
It is a good idea to cover the skin with dark clothing when outdoors as well as using a broad-brimmed hat for further protection. Specially designed photo-protective clothing is available as well.
Visit a dermatologist for information on selecting specialized clothing. The use of sunglasses is also advisable as it can protect against both UVA and UVB radiation.
Avoid Tanning Beds
While many people desire a tanned appearance, avoiding the use of tanning beds is strongly recommended. The lights used in tanning beds create UV radiation increases the risk of skin cancer.
Periodic Skin Assessment
It is important to check the skin frequently and consult a dermatologist at least once a year for a detailed exam. Any changes in the skin such as new growths or changes in the shape of moles or birthmarks should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
Sun Protection while Driving
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology , 53 percent of skin cancers in the US develop on the left or the driver’s side of the body. This may be attributed to UV exposure when driving a vehicle.
Using transparent window film to filter out UVB and UVA rays without impacting the visibility is advisable. However, this protects only as long as the windows are closed.
Devoted board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness and Jackie McGinness, FNP (Nurse Practitioner) receive patients from Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and other towns and cities in this part of the nation for various skin treatments.
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 Missouri, Shiloh Illinois, Belleville, Millstadt, Saint Clair County, Madison County and more.