Your skin is your largest organ, and it does so much to look after you. Even if you don’t realise it, it’s always doing its best to keep you safe! Your skin is the barrier that shields you from potential harm, but if you don’t take care of it as it does you, it could face some harm of its own.
This article explains why it’s so vital to have a doctor check your skin, why pre-summer is the best time to do it, and some skin care tips to get you through our summer season. For personalised advice, contact our team at Newbay Medical Clinic today.
Why Skin Checks Are So Important
Doctors perform skin checks with the aim of spotting any skin abnormalities. If they find any, you can have these abnormalities investigated further to rule out skin cancer or to act quickly if it is skin cancer.
There are several different types of skin cancer, and it can occur anywhere on the body— including places that don’t receive any sun exposure.
People with lighter skin, or less melanin in their skin, are more susceptible to developing skin cancer, though it’s important to remember that anybody can develop skin cancer.
Your risk for skin cancer may be increased if you:
- Have light skin
- Have many moles
- Have a family history of skin cancer
- Have a personal history of skin cancer
- Have had a lot of sun exposure
- Used tanning beds in the past
- Have had many sunburns in the past
- Have had at least one severe sunburn in the past, especially as a child or teenager
Why You Should Schedule A Skin Check Pre-Summer
As summer kicks into gear, we head out into the sun to enjoy outdoor sports and catch-ups with friends and family. As the weeks and months go on, most people find that their skin becomes darker in colour, even when they’ve been diligently using sunscreen. While the amount the skin darkens varies from person to person for a variety of reasons, in general, your skin tone will likely be slightly darker in summer than in winter.
As our skin slowly becomes lighter as the days become shorter and we spend more time inside, it becomes easier to spot any suspicious spots. That’s why pre-summer is the best time to have your skin checked— your skin will be at its palest, whatever shade that is for you, and therefore any spots will be easier to see.
Additionally, having your skin checked during this time means that when you come back the following year, you’ll have something to compare it to. This makes it easier to spot any changes that may have occurred during that time.
Skin Care Tips For Summer
The Cancer Council campaign of Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide is the best way to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. You should:
- Slip on a shirt and any other type of cover-up you may need
- Slop on sunscreen all over your body, and use one with at least an SPF50 rating
- Slap on a hat whenever you’re outside, even if it’s cloudy
- Seek shade when you are outside and limit your time in direct sunlight
- Slide on UV protection sunglasses
What To Look For
Whether you have one mole or a large amount of them, you should always monitor your moles for any changes. Changes that may be a concern include:
- Asymmetry— Do the sides look different from each other?
- Borders— Are the outer edges uneven?
- Colour— Does it have multiple colours, or is a dark brown or black?
- Diameter— Is it larger than 6mm?
- Evolving— Has it changed in size, shape, and/or colour?
If you notice one or more of the above, book a skin check as soon as you can.
Book Your Pre-Summer Skin Check At Newbay Medical Clinic
A pre-summer skin check is vital to your health no matter your skin tone, age, and occupation. While some people are more at risk of developing skin cancer than others, anybody can develop skin cancer and your best chances for recovery are when it’s discovered early.
If you haven’t had a skin check recently, or if you’ve noticed any new developments, our team at Newbay Medical Clinic will address your concerns in a caring and professional manner. To book your pre-summer skin check, contact our friendly and experienced team today.