Protecting the skin from excessive exposure to the sun and tanning devices is a key step to preventing future damage to your body's largest organ.
On the skin's surface, the sun's ultraviolet rays can cause long-term marks and discoloration. Temporary conditions like sunburn or sun poisoning can be painful and illness-inducing. Other more serious skin conditions can go undetected for years.
According to the American Cancer Society, cancer of the skin is the most common but also the most preventable type of cancer.
There's no reasonable way to shun the sun altogether, nor should you. The human body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight and keeps your bones healthy. It can also help your "body clock" and even your mood. Psychiatrists recommend spending time outdoors in natural light.
What steps should you take to protect yourself and your loved ones from its potentially harmful effects? How much sun is too much?
How do you identify and treat signs of skin damage? What are the myths and facts about the sun's impact on the human body?
For more information on free screenings at the Travis Park Dermatology Clinic, click here.
- Dr. Ronald Davis, San Antonio-based dermatologist and member of the American Academy of Dermatology
- Dr. Jeff Brackeen, board-certified dermatologist practicing in Lubbock, Texas and spokesperson for The Skin Cancer Foundation
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