Managing Your Health While Looking for the ‘Perfect’ Summer Body
The following is an excerpt from a WDAM news story by Quametra Wilborn, featuring Sarah Kelly, CNP, with Hattiesburg Clinic Dermatology – West.
Dermatology–West Nurse Practitioner Sarah Kelly said people in the south are more prone to wanting to be outside due to the weather, but she said that puts people at a higher risk for skin cancer.
“Every once in a while, we’ll have a young person in their teens or 20s that has a melanoma,” Kelly said. “We have well-documented evidence that the sun burns increase your chance for melanoma.”
With the south usually trending with warmer weather, Kelly said those who try to avoid the burn of sun but head to tanning beds to get that bronze look should be cautious.
According to a study by the American Academy of Dermatology, most beds could be harmful due to UVA bulbs causing even deeper skin damage.
Research shows that a tan is considered a sign of skin damage where the skin is working to protect itself from UVA rays by producing more melanin.
Excessive exposure can lead to premature skin aging, immune suppression and eye damage.
Kelly said long-term effects could include skin cancer.
She said if you are looking for a summer glow, then there are safer alternatives.
“A person that wants a glow for a wedding or a beach event might prefer to use a spray tan,” said Kelly.
Kelly said the best way to protect your skin is to simply apply sunscreen consistently throughout the day and to make sure to have yearly skin examinations.
“We would leave undergarments on, we would put you into a gown and just look at you from head to toe,” she said.
Kelly said it’s all about further educating the patient about their body.
“We want you to become familiar with your skin lesions, and if something’s growing or changing that’s a big indicator that you need to come get it checked,” she said.