Summer skin care tips to keep skin healthy
Sun exposure can damage your skin even if you don't get a burn.
Most summer-related skin issues can be directly traced to increased exposure to the sun. However, sunburn is not the only problem that baking in those warm rays can cause. Even if you don't burn, you may be exposing your skin to sun damage in the form of dry skin or freckles, or damage that takes years to come out of hiding, like sun spots or even skin cancer.
A sunburn is your body's red alert telling you that you've gotten too much sun, but there are more subtle signs too, like freckles and areas of darker pigmentation on your skin. Redness and skin blotchiness are all common signs of sun-damaged skin, says Dr. William Hanke of the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana, near Indianapolis. If your skin has any of the above discolorations it may be time to see a dermatologist.
These signs of sun damage can be treated, but while the signs may go away, the spots and burns of today can be the first signs of something much more dangerous in years to come -- skin cancer. The most common form of cancer in the United States, skin cancer can have serious consequences. Some skin cancers are relatively benign, but the most serious form -- melanoma -- can spread to the body's internal organs and result in death.
Skin cancer is preventable. Use sunblock frequently and apply it liberally when you're outdoors, and if you're fair and easily burned, avoid bright sunlight by staying indoors or in the shade between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., when the sun is brightest. Covering up with light layers of clothing with a tight weave can also allow you to enjoy the sun without suffering the consequences.