Six Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer

Featured in SCV Magazine

As a dermatologist with over 20 years of experience working with sun damaged skin, I have heard many “wives tales” about how to prevent the skin cancer known as Melanoma. With sunny spring and hot summer days just around the corner, it is important for the people of Marina Del Rey to properly prepare for increased exposure to the sun.

How can you enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle and still minimize your risks of developing skin cancer? Here are six tips:

Tip #1: Avoid sunburns. This is even more important for people who have a history of sunburns from their adolescence; when precautions were not take as seriously as they are today.

Tip #2: Don’t “sunbathe” between the hours of 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Even if it reaches 100 degrees at 9:00 a.m. or 5:00 p.m., there is very little cancer causing rays occurring at these times.

Tip #3: Wear lots of sunscreen and re-apply every two hours. This is critical as it has been shown in studies that re-applying every two and one-half hours results in five times more sunburns!

Tip #4: Wear protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats with at least 3 ½” brims all around. This dramatically reduces sun exposure. Remember, there are harmful U.V. rays during cloudy “June Gloom” days, as well!

Tip #5: Avoid sun exposure near beaches, lakes and large, open playing fields. There are no vertical structures to absorb the sun’s rays.

Tip #6: It’s never too late to start preventing Melanoma! If you already have it, if it is only at the surface of the skin, it can be 100% curable. Have a dermatologist examine you.

Melanoma is the “silent killer”. Its rates have doubled in just the last few years! The highest risk is with light-complected blondes and redheads and people who live in sunny environments. This is what makes preparing now for the upcoming summer days in Marina Del Rey all the more important!