We seem to overlook any concern about skin cancer during the winter. It is “front and center” during the hot summer months, but everyone should be wary of the sun, and other factors, even during wintertime. We still are outside enjoying winter sports, playing with our kids, and social distancing as best we can. Regardless of the time of year, let’s learn how family and personal history affects your skin cancer risk.
Risk Factors We Can Control
There are certain lifestyle risk factors that affect skin cancer that are within our control. We can protect ourselves from dangerous UV rays every day of the year by wearing sunscreen on exposed areas of skin. As mentioned above, the sun’s reflection on snow is just as dangerous as on water during summertime. Wear proper clothing including wraparound sunglasses all year round if you are going to be outside for any length of time.
Don’t smoke, but if you do, make an effort to stop. Avoid tanning beds or sunlamps and use faux tan if you must get that “sun kissed glow.” It’s almost better than the real thing.
Most importantly, see Goodless Dermatology on a regular basis to keep an eye on any unusual new lesions and changes in their color or shape.
Versus Those We Cannot
The uncontrollable risks you may have are less within your power.
Some of those include the following:
- Having lighter skin, hair that is naturally red or blonde, and eyes that are blue or green
- Skin that freckles or becomes red while out in the sun for only a little while
- Having a lot of moles of different kinds
- Having a family history of skin cancer
- Having a personal history of skin cancer
- Getting older
- A weakened immune system from drugs, HIV, or other cancer or extended steroid treatments
- A history of precancerous lesions known as actinic keratoses
Each time you are out in the sun too long without protection increases your risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
Contact Goodless Dermatology if you notice any new moles or lesions and especially one which has changed in color or shape.
To schedule an appointment, please call (407) 566-1616 or request an appointment online today.