Caring for Your Previously Sun Damaged Skin
It’s hard to believe it now, but not too long ago sitting out in the sun covered in baby oil was the thing to do. “Having a golden tan was popular and seen as a healthy glow,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak, a board certified Dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at Sanova Dermatology. “It wasn’t ’till years later that we recognized damage might be taking place.” As far as we knew, tan lines were the only consequence.
It turns out there is more to worry about. Exposing the skin to UV rays causes damage to the cells. Adding oil to the skin acts like a magnifying glass for the UV rays and significantly increases one’s risk of developing cancer in the future. Skin cancer is now the most common cancer, and it’s still on the rise.
“Most skin cancers are curable when found and removed sooner rather than later,” says Dr. Mamelak. That makes self-skin exams important and potentially lifesaving. It is recommended that head to toe self-exams be done monthly to ensure any changes are noticed as soon as possible. It is a good idea to see a dermatologist before you start your self-exams so they can determine whether any current spots need treating. “An annual visit to the dermatologist will ensure that nothing has gotten by your watchful eyes each month and is a good time to bring up any questions or concerns,” reveals Dr. Mamelak.
The point of monthly exams is to find changes in your skin. Some of the signs to look for would be any new moles or growths that were not there last month. You also want to make sure your existing moles, freckles, and spots haven’t changed in shape or color. Look for existing or new marks that bleed, itch, or are oddly shaped.
If any of these signs are noticed, please contact us so that we may help you address your concerns.