Summer Skin Check
What Shape Is Your Skin In?
Summer can be tough on your skin – with all the sun, sand, travel, and recreation, your skin is probably taking a beating right now. While you may notice dry summer skin without much thought, more serious skin conditions can arise during the summer months that require a closer look. That’s why family medicine doctor Dr. Bradley Evans recommends performing a summer skin check – particularly for those most at risk for skin cancer.
“Given people’s high exposure to sunlight and the possible development of new, precancerous, or cancerous skin lesions during the summer months, checking your skin this time of year is highly recommended,” explains Dr. Evans. “Catching skin problems in their early stages makes them far easier and less invasive to treat – resulting in better outcomes and (when applicable), less scarring.”
While everyone can benefit from a skin self-check, if you answer yes to any of the questions below, it’s even more important for you.
Am I More at Risk for Skin Cancer?
– Do you have a lighter skin tone?
– Do you or someone in your family have a history of skin cancer?
– Have you had an organ transplant?
– Do you spend a lot of time outdoors?
– Do you have any new or changing skin lesions?
– Have you developed a rash (i.e. lighter skin spots on your face or back)?
Skin Check ... What Am I Looking For?
– Skin lesions such as freckles, moles, birthmarks: Whether the lesion is new or growing, it’s important to check them carefully. Any lesion that is new or has become larger, darker, or has begun scabbing, scaling, or bleeding should be looked at by a medical professional.
– New, undiagnosed skin conditions: If you notice irregularities in your skin, such as flaking, scaling, or discoloration, you could have a skin condition that could be caused by an underlying medical condition. One such condition, known as tinea versicolor, is a type of yeast infection that often declares itself during the summer months.
The good news is that it’s common and easily treated if properly diagnosed. Others include eczema or psoriasis, and even acne, all of which can be easily treated by your family medicine doctor.
Evaluate Your Skin
Taking just a few moments to carefully evaluate your skin – from top to bottom – can help identify any potential skin problems. If you notice anything concerning, check in with your family medicine physician who can often take care of you right in the office without the need for a dermatologist appointment.
Visit the WakeMed Voices blog for more healthy lifestyle tips. The WakeMed Voices blog provides an outlet for their many experts to share information on topics important to the health of patients and the community.