Charlotte Whitton once said, “turn your face to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.” Philosophically that may be true, but turning your face to the sun one too many times could have detrimental effects.
We understand most people like to get a little color from the sun now and again, but with over 3.5 million cases of skin cancer being diagnosed in the U.S. each year, the risk of getting skin cancer significantly outweighs the benefits of having tan skin.
And although National Skin Cancer/Melanoma Awareness Month isn’t until May, the plastic surgeons at Mosharrafa Plastic Surgery want patients to always be on the look out for skin changes of any kind. Irregular, asymmetrical spots that hurt, itch or bleed could be a skin cancer indicator. Moreover, these symptoms could mean melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.
Of course you’ve heard the usual, “Do not go in tanning beds, avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and do not wear anything less than SPF 15 on your skin,” but did you know that wearing SPF 15 alone could reduce your risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent? Imagine what all three of those things could do for the safety of your skin.
Furthermore, one minute in an average tanning bed can be twice as carcinogenic as one minute in the midday Mediterranean sun. Yikes! As if developing skin cancer wasn’t bad enough, those who tan frequently without using an SPF accelerate the aging process of their skin. Dangerous UVA and UVB rays break down healthy collagen and elastic fibers in your skin, resulting in wrinkles, dark spots and a leathery texture.
What Dr. Ali Mosharrafa and Dr. Tamir Mosharrafa want most is for patients to be safe. Examine your skin once every month and see a professional once every year. If you’d like to evaluate you’re skin, but are not sure what to look for, here are some of our tips:
- Look for spots that hurt, itch, bleed, scab or crust
- Examine moles or beauty marks that may change in color (i.e. tan to brown to black) or appear scaly and/or translucent
- Take note of whether or not your mole or spot has changed in texture, thickness or size and if the outline is irregular or asymmetrical
If your spot meets any of the above criteria, see a physician as soon as you can. Regular, consistent check-ups are the best way to keep your skin healthy and safe.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
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Dr. Ali and Dr. Tamir understand that you have made an important decision by choosing to undergo plastic surgery, and they are committed to delivering the exceptional results you expect and deserve.