Friday, April 20, 2012

Summer Sun Protection

The weather is heating up and summer is right around the corner. In Colorado the second the temperatures get above 60 degrees girls are strapping on their bikinis and laying out in the sun. I want to give you some helpful tips and knowledge on sun protection and skin care. I am very passionate about skin protection and my closest friends will say I’m a bit of a nag when it comes to wearing sunscreen! But my heart behind the nagging is good- I was diagnosed with melanoma (a form of skin cancer) a little over a year ago. It was a crazy time of my life, wondering how at 22 years old I was meeting with an oncologist, having numerous tests ran and going through multiple surgeries because of cancer. I had a wonderful surgeon who did an amazing job removing the cancer. And although that cancer spot has been removed, I continue to have other “concerning spots” removed and visit my wonderful oncologist every six months. 
I’m telling you this, first, because I want to let you in on a season of my life that has changed me forever. It has shaped me and broken me and stretched me and grown me. I am also telling you this, not to scare you, but to help protect you from what I had to go through. If you can take away just a few of these tips and tricks to protect your skin, you can make a huge difference in the future of your health. 
The ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer

A- asymmetric- If you draw a line though this mole the two halves do not match

B- boarder- Edges are uneven or scalloped. 

C- color- Having a variety of color. Different shades of brown, tan, or red through out the mole is a indicator of melanoma.

D- diameter- Usually the diameter (size) of the melanoma is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.

E- evolving- Any change in the size, shape, color, elevation, or any other irregular trait is a warning sign of skin cancer. Bleeding, itching or crusting is a danger indicator. 

Tips to Protect

  • Use a moisturizer with SPF
  • SPF stands for sun protection factor. The higher the number the more time you can spend in the sun without getting burned. Also the higher the number the more protection. 

For example, if you usually start to redden in 20 minutes from being in the sun with no protect and then you apply SPF 15 you can stay in the sun 15 times longer- meaning 300mins without getting burned. This is the science behind SPF’s but my rule of thumb is to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours
  • Use water proof sunscreen when swimming, at the beach, or working out. Sweat and water will remove the sunscreen and reduce your protection.
  • Have a friend, family member, or cute husband check you back for moles and dark spots. Our backs tend to get burned most often but its the one place we cannot check ourselves.
  • Don’t forget to put sunscreen on those cute toesies! The tops of feet and in between toes are very vulnerable. 
  • Please, my girls, avoid indoor tanning- at all costs! 

My favorite face sunscreen is Aveeno Positively Radiant, SPF 30 

Lather on that sunscreen and Enjoy the warm summer sun!

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