During the summertime, too much exposure to the sun can cause real dangers and may lead to skin cancer. There’s no such thing as a healthy tan. Skin cancer can be prevented by limiting sun exposure and wearing sunblock that’s at least 15 Sun Protection Factor (SPF), even on cloudy days. Wearing sunblock doesn’t just protect against skin cancer, it also prevents premature wrinkles and aging.
There are three types of skin cancer, the most serious being melanoma which initially appears as a bump or irregular patch on the surface of the skin. If you think you may have skin cancer it should not be ignored and if you notice anything on your skin growing or changing shape or color, you shouldn’t wait, get it checked out. When left untreated, skin cancer can spread to other parts of the body.
The best way to prevent skin cancer is to cover your skin with protective clothing and stay out of the sun. If you plan on going to the beach, I suggest that you apply sunblock 30 minutes before exposure and reapply frequently, especially after going in the water. It is important to try and stay in a shaded area and use a beach umbrella.
There is a common misconception, that using sunscreen will prevent your body from absorbing Vitamin D. If you have low Vitamin D, only three to five minutes in the sun will provide you with a sufficient amount of Vitamin D needed daily.
NYC Health + Hospitals/ Coney Island’s Dermatology Practice board-certified physicians also treat plenty of other conditions besides skin cancer, like acne, eczema, and warts.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island Dermatology Practice is open Monday-Wednesday, 9am-4pm and Thursday-Friday, 9am-1pm. To make an appointment, call 1-844-UR-CONEY.
This article is part of a series about resources available to residents at NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island.