How Skin Savvy Are You?
Jul 29, 2013 01:03PM ● Published by tina
Don't forget the sunscreen even on cloudy days.
Test Your Skin Protection Skills with this Quick Quiz
Submitted by LaKisha Miller, Baylor Medical Center Grapevine
Do you have what it takes to safeguard your skin from harmful ultraviolent rays? See how your answers stack up against our expert, Isaac Perez, MD, a dermatologist on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine.
1. What level of SPF do experts recommend?
B. The American Academy of Dermatology and Skin Cancer Foundation raised the recommendation from 15 SPF (sun protection factor) to 30 SPF or higher, because people don’t apply enough sunscreen. Look for “broad-spectrum” coverage (with UVA and UVB protection), and apply at least 1 ounce on your face, arms and legs, and add another ounce if you’re in a bathing suit on your chest and back, Dr. Perez says.
2. You can get sunburned when it’s cloudy?
TRUE. “Depending on how thick the clouds are, 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can come through—even in the wintertime,” Dr. Perez says. “That’s why it’s so important to wear sunscreen even if it’s not sunny.”
3. What are the most common sunscreen mistakes?
a. Applying too much sunscreen.
b. Neglecting key areas, such as the ears and neck.
c. Putting sunscreen on after you’re outside.
B and C. “I find that patients will frequently miss their lips, ears, neck and tops of their feet,” says Dr. Perez. And most sunscreens need to be applied 15 minutes before you go outside to provide protection. “Only titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are effective immediately,” he says.
4. You can get skin cancer even if you don’t spend a lot of time in the sun.
TRUE. While basal and squamous cell cancers are directly linked to UV exposure, melanoma is different. “There’s a genetic component that puts you at a higher risk for developing it, or if you have many, many moles—regardless of any sun exposure,” Dr. Perez says. “That’s why we encourage patients to do full-body self-skin checks regularly and to see a dermatologist if they have a doubt about a spot.”
5. Tanning beds are a safe way to get vitamin D.
FALSE. “Tanning beds typically use UVA bulbs, and an easy way to remember what UVA does is to think that the ‘A’ stands for aging. It’s going to cause wrinkles, and it’s going to increase your risk for skin cancer, too,” Dr. Perez says. “UVB rays—in which the ‘B’ stands for burn—are the rays that are used to make vitamin D in your body.” And remember: You can get your D from dietary sources like milk or by taking a supplement.
See a Suspicious Spot?
Don’t wait to get it checked. Early prevention is the key to treating skin cancer. Visit Baylor Health – Grapevine for a physician referral.
About Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine
Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine is a full-service, fully-accredited not-for-profit hospital serving residents in more than 20 cities throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth region. Focused on being the best place to give and receive quality, safe and compassionate care, Baylor Grapevine works to lead the transformation of health care. The 314-bed hospital offers advanced medical services for cardiovascular services, women’s services, oncology, neurology, spine care, orthopedics, diagnostic imaging, neonatal intensive care, intensive and emergency care.
About Baylor Health Care System
Baylor Health Care System is a not-for-profit, faith-based supporting organization providing services to a network of acute care hospitals and related health care entities that provide patient care, medical education, research and community service. Baylor recorded more than 2.8 million patient encounters, $4.1 billion in total operating revenue, $5.3 billion in total assets and $502 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2011 (as reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services). Baylor’s network of more than 300 access points includes 30 owned/operated/ ventured/affiliated hospitals; joint ventured ambulatory surgical centers; satellite outpatient locations; senior centers and more than 190 HealthTexas Provider Network physician clinics.