Of all the Pro’s Corner tips we’ve shared in these pages, this one is perhaps the most important because it may literally save your life. This summer has been a hot one! You’ve spent a lot of time on the water and outdoors and summer is not over yet. This is our way of life in Florida, but the problem is that the sun is a killer!
Here’s the “why.” Skin cancer affects a staggering number of people each year…check the stats for yourself. No one is exempt from the sun’s damage. You have a one in five chance to develop melanoma and every hour someone dies from it. I think it’s safe to say that the outdoorsy types, like us, especially those in this type of climate, rank as a higher risk. The good news in sun protection is that the “how” is as easy to understand as the “why.”
Most everyone uses some form of sunscreen or block and that’s a good first step…I suggest a high SPF. Where I think many fall short on protection is in failing to cover up properly. The thought of long sleeve shirts and pants to most seems miserable in this heat. The truth is, when you cover up with the correct technical gear designed to protect and cool, you’ll find yourself more comfortable than with exposed skin…I know I do. Mojo brand makes shirts and pants designed by anglers for anglers. The high 30 SPF rating will protect you from damaging rays and the tight weave construction means that protection won’t wash out. This type of technical gear is moisture wicking and it dries fast so it will keep you cool and protected…and they’re stain resistant!
Melanoma spreads quickly to other parts of the body, so it is important to detect and treat melanoma in its earliest of stages. When it is detected and treated in its early stages, the chances for long-term, disease-free survival are excellent! Perform a self-exam and apply the ABCDE rule. This is an acronym for the general guidelines used to identify an atypical mole or melanoma based on the following features: A. asymmetry, B. irregular border, C. multiple or unusual color, D. large diameter, and E. evidence that the mole is evolving. Most importantly, if you’re not sure about something, go have it looked at by a dermatologist. It’s not worth waiting.
For more info call Dr. Sunseri at Sun Dermatology (850) 215-3612 or check out sundermatology.com.
~ Capt. Randy “C-note” Cnota