Poor Apollo. Sun worshipping is so passe - but for good reason. Harmful UV rays can damage skin regardless of the season, cloud cover or your skin tone, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Having the information to protect yourself is key to enjoying the sun while keeping your skin damage-free. We asked Kim Minor, medical aesthetician and practice manager of Anne Therese Aesthetic Medicine in Gahanna, to answer some common questions.Five things you should know about skin care and the sun
How much sunscreen is enough?
You need about one ounce-or two tablespoons-to cover your body. Apply 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every three to four hours. Sunscreen is not just for your face; it's important to be just as vigilant with the rest of the body. And remember: UV rays can travel through some fabrics.
Does the sun affect anything besides skin?
Yes, UV rays can cause cancer in the backs of the eyes. Look for polarized sunglasses for the best protection.
What's the deal with my freckles?
The freckles you had as a kid are nothing to worry about. But if you notice a rough, reddish or bumpy spot on the skin, it could be actinic keratosis, a precancerous growth. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the majority of these growths remain benign. But some studies report that up to 10 percent may advance to squamous cell carcinoma. Red freckles - or cherry hemangioma - are caused by sun damage, but generally don't become precancerous. The only way to know for sure if a mole or freckle is cancerous is to get a biopsy. Watch out for lesions that don't heal or that change in color or size.
When should I begin having my skin checked?
If you're exposed to a lot of sun without protection, or if you have a family history of skin cancer, you should start checking your skin in your teens. Otherwise you should start being screened in your mid-twenties. Have your skin checked at least once a year.
If my doctor finds something, will I need chemo?
Depending on what kind of lesion your doctor finds, he or she will determine how deep it is and if they can burn it off, cut it off or otherwise treat it appropriately. Only you and your doctor can together choose the right treatment for your situation.
Source: The Skin Cancer Foundation