May 15th, 2018
May is Melanoma (actually skin cancer awareness) month. Because it has touched my family irreversibly and profoundly, I want to discuss some thoughtful ways to decrease your risks. First, use sunscreen. Use lots of sunscreen (one ounce or a shot glass or two tablespoons) for the body.
Reapply every 80 minutes when out in the sun. Yes, that often. Use sunscreen that you LOVE and at 30 SPF or higher. There is a current study saying that 100 spf is better for protection than 50 spf. Sunscreen that is practical is sunscreen that you will use. I use Brush on Block everyday before my Jane Iredale powder. I can easily reapply. When we went to Harry Potter world in LA, I brought a SPF make up finisher spray (Topix has a very nice one. I have used SuperGoop's but it can sting around the eyes.) Not only did it work, it was very cooling on the face.
If your shadow is taller than your body, get out. You should avoid midday from approximately 10-11a to 3p. If you are out, sunglasses can protect your eyes (and look posh), a big floppy hat, and protective clothing that has SPF. A less expensive way to get your existing clothing with sun shield, use Rit Sun Guard in the washer with your current clothes.
For my skin of color clients (myself included), I prefer mineral sunscreens. It reflects the sun back without absorption of the sun into my cells (as needed for chemical sunscreen). Less heat means less hyperpigmentation.
Get a skin screen yearly. If anything doesn't look right (ABCDE), get it checked out. If something doesn't heal, make an appointment. Dr Boudreaux, DO, and Dr Matthew McClelland, MD, are wonderful. You get a pleasant visit once a year and can catch anything brewing.
There are some newer sunscreens that have photolyases. There are at least 3 studies and more coming that show protective effects as well as reparative effects to DNA.
Enjoy the sun, Portland, but be careful. And kiss your family and hold them tight.
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