Protecting Your Skin From Cancer And Treatment Options
Now that the warm weather is finally here, it's only natural to want to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Unfortunately, too many people fail to adequately protect themselves from the sun and expose themselves to the risk of developing skin cancer. Dr. Deirdre Wood, your Northeast Philadelphia dermatologist, shares a few tips that will help you stay safe in the sun and also explains skin cancer treatment options.
Don't skimp on the sunscreen
Use a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 50 and reapply it often, particularly if you get wet or sweat. Put sunscreen on every inch of exposed skin, including the tops of your feet, your scalp and your ears.
Avoid mid-day exposure
The sun's rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Avoid sun damage by staying indoors during those times, if possible. Protect your skin by hitting the beach in the early morning or evening, but make sure you use sunscreen even if you visit at a time when the sun's rays aren't as intense.
Find a shady place
Look for a shady spot at the beach. If you can't find one, make your own shade by bringing or renting an umbrella. The less time you spend in the sun, the better.
Wearing hats, long-sleeve shirts, and long pants is the best way to protect yourself from the sun. Some lightweight clothing even offers built-in SPF protection. Cover your eyes with a pair of sunglasses that prevents both UVA and UVB rays from reaching your eyes.
Skin cancer treatments
If you do develop skin cancer, your Northeast Philadelphia dermatologist can offer several types of treatment, including:
- Topical Cream: The cream is applied daily for up to six weeks and works by spurring the body to produce a natural chemical that attacks the cancer.
- Curettage and Dessication: Your skin doctor uses a metal instrument to scrape out the tumor, then uses an electric current to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Cryosurgery: Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze off the skin cancer.
- Mohs Micrographic Surgery: During this skin-preserving surgery, your doctor removes skin layer by layer, stopping when a microscopic examination of the layers indicates that all of the cancer has been removed.
- Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is usually only used for skin cancers if they are located in hard-to-reach areas or are particularly severe or persistent.
- Excisional Surgery: Skin cancers are removed with a scalpel during this type of surgery.
Are you concerned about a suspicious mole or spot on your skin? Call Dr. Deirdre Wood, your Northeast Philadelphia dermatologist, at (267) 731-1333 to schedule a skin cancer evaluation. Decrease your skin cancer risk by staying safe in the sun!