Out with the old and in with the new–that’s what they say, isn’t it? Another new year is right around the corner. I feel that we all fall into one of two categories when it comes to the age-old tradition of making resolutions for the new year. There are those of us who make nice lists of resolutions and do everything in our power to hold true to those goals, and then, well, there are those of us who think that sounds really nice and wish those other guys and gals the best of luck!
Daily routines for all skin
Old habits die hard, and new ones are sometimes difficult to get off the ground. When it comes to taking care of our skin, there are some habits we all need to keep in mind, especially if we have or have had an encounter with skin cancer, sun damage, or have a family history of skin cancer. Truth be told, whether we have been diagnosed with skin cancer of any type or not, there are some basic things that need to be a part of our daily routines to help us avoid increasing our chances of developing melanoma, basal cell, or squamous cell carcinoma.
As we enter 2018, the following list of resolutions will come in handy for all of us.
Say them with me now, won’t you? I resolve to:
1. Commit to monthly skin checks. Choose one day every month to perform a full body check or have a family member or trusted friend help you look for changes, suspicious spots, or new lesions.
2. Make an appointment to see a dermatologist. Ask around and find a dermatologist who comes highly recommended by family or friends. Go get that baseline exam and start a routine of regular visits as recommended by the doctor.
3. Add foods rich in antioxidants to your diet. Research the list of foods rich in antioxidants, and find a few new ones that interest you to add to your diet. The list is long–there’s something on there for you!
4. Buy sunscreen for yourself and someone you love. Go shopping for a sunscreen that suits your needs. The supplies are endless, and we all need a daily sunscreen to protect exposed skin year-round. Pick up a tube for a friend, and start him or her down the path of sun safety, too.
5. Try on a hat–and then buy it! Hats are a great way to shield our faces from those harmful UV rays. Besides, your face isn’t the only area that can be affected by not wearing a hat. Our scalps are also vulnerable to exposure. Find a hat you like and flaunt it!
6. Bring up Vitamin D at your next check-up. Having an open dialogue about your Vitamin D level is important. It is especially important if you have already been avoiding the sun. Your doctor can provide you with a prescription strength dose of Vitamin D or suggest dietary changes to increase your levels. While the sun is one source of Vitamin D, it is certainly not our only option.
7. Advocate against tanning. There are many ways to get involved in helping to restrict the use of tanning beds by minors in all 50 states. An easy way to help others avoid the damaging rays of tanning beds is to tell your story and/or share the experiences of others. Photographs and videos are powerful tools, indeed.
8. Make a melanoma ribbon your profile picture on social media. Someone will ask you what the black ribbon stands for and that, my friends, is the perfect opportunity to start a conversation about the ways you are being proactive and sun safe in the new year!