Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Work at Home Men - Health Tip #1

Use Sunscreen Whenever You are Exposed to the Sun

Even if it is Cloudy!

by Robert Leavitt

Pictures of Different Types of Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer can be dangerous

Here at Work at Home Men we are going to bring you some health tips that I have researched specifically for dealing with  various health conditions that affect men.  It is important that you realize I am not a doctor, and I am not qualified to give you medical advice.  This is for informational purposes only and any changes to your diet/lifestyle should be discussed with your physician or health care provider.

Different stages of Melanoma
Melanoma is also very dangerous.
Skin protection for men is often overlooked because it's time consuming and generally annoying to have to stop every two hours to put on more sunscreen.  It's very important that you understand why you should do this, because it can benefit you dramatically.  If you get skin cancer, or any type of skin damage you will feel awful knowing that it could have easily been prevented.

If you are anything like me, you probably hate putting on sunscreen.  I grew up in Miami, FL and if it was one thing we were used to, it was the sun, but in retrospect I really should have taken more preventative action earlier in my life.  I felt somewhat self-conscious applying sunscreen.   It wasn't the “cool” thing to do and I desperately wanted to fit in.  I actually thought other people would make fun of me for applying sunscreen.

How naive and foolish I was.  The sun can really cause you serious damage.  There is the risk of cancer, melanoma, age spots, moles, solar elastosis, Basal Cell Carcinoma and more!  Here are a few tips to help you take better care of your skin:

  • Use a (UVA/UVB) sunscreen of at least 15SPF

Do it religiously every time you are exposed to the sun, even if it is cloudy.  The sun casts harmful ultraviolet rays on us every day.  It can be extremely damaging to your skin and can cause a variety of different diseases.  The National Skin Cancer Foundations estimates that 90% of melanoma skin cancer is a result of exposure to the sun with no sunscreen.

  • Apply an adequate amount

You are going to want to use about 1 1/2 ounces of sunscreen every application.  It's important to generously cover all of your exposed skin.  This includes your hands, chest, arms, legs, ears, face, head (if you don't have hair).  It's also important to note that most clothing doesn't provide adequate sun protection.  A regular T-Shirt has an average SPF of about 5.   Keep this in mind when you apply your sunscreen.  We recommend taking off your clothes and applying the sunscreen to your entire body at least every other application, I realize that this isn't always possible, but it's important that you understand that your clothing will not protect your skin from ultraviolet rays.

  • Apply multiple times per day, once every two hours

Unless the brand of sunscreen you are using instructs you to do otherwise, you should reapply your sunscreen every two hours for optimal results.  This can be a little bit tedious, but it is completely worth it.  If it starts raining, you go swimming, or you otherwise get wet, reapply your sunscreen.  Even "waterproof" sunscreens often wash off when you get wet, so it's better to be safe than sorry.

  • Monitor your skin

You should regularly check your skin each month on your entire body.  You’re going to be looking for any brown spots, and any new changes (like moles, freckles, etc…) that you may see.  If you notice anything that looks out of the ordinary you should immediately see your dermatologist.
When it comes to your skin, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  It really pays off to stay on top of this area, because it is so easy to overlook.  Once you get skin cancer, you will find yourself in a very bad situation almost immediately.  It really does pay to take care of your skin.

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