Every year we like to take a moment to write about how important it is to take care of your skin in the sun. With summer nearly here, now is not only the perfect time to remind our readers of why it is so critical but also to provide a few useful ways for everyone to avoid dangerous levels of sun exposure.
You may have heard that sun damage causes wrinkles. This is true – but it is not the only thing caused by sun exposure. Sun exposure can also result in sunburn, skin spots, skin cancers, and eye damage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 80,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma (the most severe type of skin cancer) every year. In addition, more than 4 million Americans are treated for squamous and basal cell skin cancers annually. Sadly, the Skin Care Foundation (SCF) reports that one in five people will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.
Sun damage is caused by ultraviolet, or UV, radiation. Both natural and synthetic (e.g. tanning) sunlight can inflict skin damage, but there are numerous ways that someone can reduce his or her risk for developing skin cancers and other medical conditions. It is important to remember that even on cloudy days when you cannot see the sun, there are still harmful UV rays present.
To prevent sun-related skin damage, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends:
Do not forget parts of the body that you may not usually consider when it comes to sun protection. If you do not have much hair, put sunscreen on your head or be sure to wear a hat. The same goes for hands, feet, ears, and even the lips. Just be sure to avoid getting sunscreen in the mouth or eyes. If you have a child who is 6-months-old or less, consult with a healthcare professional before using broad spectrum sunscreen products.
With skin cancer, early detection and medical intervention are both key. One of the best ways for a person to notice skin cancer early on is by conducting regular self-exams at home. This involves checking the skin for any changes, and consulting with a doctor if you observe suspicious ones. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of skin cancer to watch out for are:
If you would like to learn more about the signs and symptoms of skin cancer, please visit the CDC’s website here: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/symptoms.htm.
We here at Galfand Berger hope that you and your loved ones enjoy this sunny spring and summer, but also want you to remember to always wear sunscreen, cover up when you can, and keep your skin safe and healthy!
If you have a legal question, please contact our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.