Sun damage is generally not fatal, as long as it’s caught in its early stages. Therefore, you will want to check yourself regularly to make sure there are no concerning spots on your skin. But we can’t go crazy over every new spot we see!

This article will put your fears to rest by explaining exactly what you need to look for. It will provide information on how to check yourself for signs of sun damage, so you can determine when you need to see the doctor.

What to Look For

It is recommended that you do your exam in a well lit room in front of a full length mirror. Use a hand held mirror for areas that are hard to see.

Generally, there is an ABCDE rule for spots like moles or birthmarks that you should be concerned about. Guidelines are as follows.

·  Asymmetry: This occurs when one side of a birthmark or mole doesn’t match the other.

·  Border: Look at the border of the mark to determine if the edges are ragged, notched, or blurred.

·  Color: If the color of the mark is not uniform, (i.e. if it includes varying shades of brown and black as well as patches of red, white, pink or blue, you will want to consult a physician.)

·  Diameter: Spots larger than ¼ inch across may be melanoma.

·  Evolving: If the mole is changing in shape, size or color it may be a sign of skin cancer spreading.

How to Protect Your Skin

Doing regular exams will help, but it’s important to keep your skin protected in the first place. With the warm weather coming, here are some preventative measures you should be taking.

·   Use Sunblock: Use a broad spectrum sunblock that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Apply generously and reapply every few hours, especially after you’ve been in the water. An SPF of 30 or above is recommended.

·  Cover Your Skin: Cover your skin as much as possible. Wear a baggie, light colored. long clothing to protect your body and stay cool. A hat and sunglasses will also be helpful.

·  Stay Out of the Sun: While some sun exposure is good, keep it to a minimum. If you do go out in the sun, keep it to off peak hours. Stay indoors or in the shade during the middle of the day.

When it comes to sunscreen, you want a product you can count on to work that contains ingredients you can trust. Naked Bee’s Zinc Sunscreen SPF 30 is recommended.  

The Naked Bee brand is a provider of all natural skin care products that nourish the skin and smell terrific. Their zinc sunscreen protects you from UVA and UVB rays by creating a physical layer of protection over the skin. It does not contain any harsh chemicals, parabens or mineral oil.

This summer, make sure to keep your skin healthy. Do regular skin exams, stay out of the sun when possible and use a sunscreen you can trust. What measures will you be taking to protect yourself from those harmful rays?