Summer Kramer was diagnosed with skin cancer at the age of 26. Now she devotes her life to helping others prevent the disease. Summer joined us with important information on why we need to protect our skin -- rain or shine.
How we can protect ourselves from harmful UV rays:
Sun protective clothing
Sun-protective clothing is becoming more prevalent and more fashionable. You can find various styles, and they typically have a UPF of 50+, which is the equivalent of using the highest strength sunscreen.
It's important to apply a sunscreen of at least an SPF 30 to the areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun. Sunscreen also must be reapplied every 2 hours, and most of us don't apply enough - you need to use approximately a shot glass worth, or two tablespoons to the exposed areas of your face and body.
Medications that increase sunburn
It's also important to know your medications, and know if they may increase your risk of sunburn or sensitivity to the sun. For example, many topical acne products, certain antibiotics, antihistamines, cardiovascular medications as well as any medication that suppresses your immune system - if you have any question, ask your pharmacist about the prescriptions that you are taking.
Know your own skin
- Make sure to have annual skin checks with a dermatologist
- My melanoma didn't fit the typical signs for melanoma, it looked like a normal mole, and the only sign I had was that everything in my body was telling me that it shouldn't be there - patient's intuition.
- The bottom line is, if you see something that worries you, go get it checked out - no matter how big or small. It could save your life.