Last month, right before summer was set to begin, we blogged about the fact that summer is the “season of the mole”. And that’s because the season provides us with the second main reason that moles develop on our skin – sun exposure. The first reason is age. So, since it’s impossible for us not to age, it stands to reason that we all take measures to minimize the potential for sun exposure to promote mole growth.
Allow us, firstly, to mention that most moles are not cancerous. However, it is certainly important to have your moles examined by a dermatologist, especially if you notice any changes in their shape, texture, colour and size. (See the aforementioned blog for more details.) Preventing mole growth requires the following of a few simple steps all summer (and really, all year) long.
Here are four:
1. Apply sunscreen on a daily basis.
It’s important to start out with the obvious. Use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 on all parts of your body that will be exposed to the sun. In truth, this tip may not be as obvious to some as it is to others as there are still a lot of people who think that sunscreen isn’t necessary. It should be noted, however, that sunscreen is needed for protection against the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays all year round.
2. Cover up your skin.
Even when sunscreen is being used, it’s wise to not subject your skin to prolonged sun exposure. If you plan on being out in the sun – especially during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day – you should wear such skin-protecting garments as long-sleeved clothing and wide-brimmed hats. The latter will especially help to prevent the development of moles on your ears, neck, chest and face.
3. Avoid tanning beds.
While this form of tanning isn’t necessarily all that popular during the summer – thanks to the natural sunlight taking care of most of our tanning requirements – it’s important for us to strongly advise against ever visiting a tanning salon. Look at it this way: you’re cooking your skin! There is no benefit to subjecting your body to such damage. Concentrated UV light emanating from tanning bed bulbs is not your friend!
“Using tanning beds before age 30 increases your risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent,” reports the Melanoma Research Foundation, “Occasional use of tanning beds triples your chances. Research also suggests a strong dose-response relationship – meaning the more sessions, hours and years spent tanning, the higher the risk of developing melanoma and other types of skin cancer.”
4. Avoid tanning altogether.
It should probably go without saying that if you should skip the tanning beds, you should avoid lying out in the sun all day as well. We’re aware that it’s a favourite summer pastime for most Canadians, but it does need to be recognized as an unsafe practice. There is no such thing as a “safe tan”, says the Melanoma Research Foundation, “Tanned skin is a result of damage to skin cells.”
For those who have already developed moles that they wish to remove, the Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre proudly offers a safe and effective treatment for mole removal using the VariLite laser. It provides excellent results with no bruising and virtually no down time. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-358-5818 or email email@example.com.