My colleagues and I in Albany share the belief that our responsibilities as plastic surgeons reach deeper than restoring confidence and a youthful appearance.
Even more important to us is the health of our patients, many of whom we consider to be dear friends. And unfortunately, our roles in aesthetic medicine bring us face-to-face with the harsh realities of skin cancer all too often.
For this reason, we talk to our patients frequently about the actions they take, not only to enhance but also to protect their bodies.
The problem is, getting the advice to truly absorb is difficult when much of the information out there about skin cancer prevention seems like common sense. Wear sunscreen daily. Reapply it after swimming. Avoid tanning beds. You get the picture. It’s all about as easy to ignore as “eat your vegetables” and “drink plenty of water.”
However, there are a few pieces of advice that I thought might get your attention. Here are 3 common mistakes you may not even realize you are making:
- Skimping on sunscreen in the most common sites for melanoma: You have probably heard that, when left untreated, melanoma can spread quickly, and it can be deadly. But do you know where this type of skin cancer is most common? The face? The shoulders? If you are a woman, the answer is: your legs! Unfortunately, many women neglect to apply sunscreen to their legs. Maybe they want a tan or figure the legs are not as exposed as the face or shoulders. For men, melanoma is most common on the back and chest. That is a little less surprising, but important nonetheless. So be sure not to miss these important spots.
- Believing that a sheer cover-up is enough protection: Another big mistake. The popular styles of today feature tissue-thin fabrics and crochet knits. The truth is, if you can see through the fabric, you need to apply a good sunscreen underneath. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, when it comes to sun-safe clothing, more is more. When possible, choose a tight-knit fabric (without holes or gaps) and avoid anything that is extremely lightweight. Always wear sunscreen underneath if you plan to be in the sun for a long time.
- Not applying your products in the proper order: A common question we hear from patients is, “What should I apply first?” While advice from skin care experts does vary on the subject, the general consensus is sunscreen first, makeup second. If you use any medicine or additional moisturizer, you can apply that before the sunscreen. And if your makeup contains sunscreen, be sure it has an SPF of 15 or higher before you skip a separate layer of protection.
In honor of UV Safety Month, I hope you’ll come in to The Plastic Surgery Group and Spa One, our on-site medical day spa. Our experienced staff will personally help you select a new sunscreen that will leave you excited about taking care of your skin.
If you want a golden glow without risking the sun exposure, we highly recommend an organic spray tan as a safe and beautiful alternative. For the month of August, Spa One is offering a special price for its popular “body buff and bronze” package. When you purchase 2 packages, you will receive a third for free ($270 value)!
Visit our website to schedule a skin care consultation, and enjoy the rest of your summer! Like this post? Pin it using with the image below!