“It’s so nice that summer is finally here. I can finally go outside to enjoy the sunshine, visit the park, go biking, and- ow! When did I get this sunburn? I put sunscreen on… I guess I missed a spot. Oh well, I’ll get it next time.”
Has this ever been you? This is more common than you may think. In fact, many dermatologists and skin cancer organizations have dedicated their time to writing articles telling you about the areas you’re probably forgetting to apply sunscreen. Although some people are remembering to wear sunscreen, they aren’t putting enough on, or are forgetting places altogether! This can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer and become very dangerous!
Forgetting to apply sunscreen
So, what areas are commonly missed? If you research online, you will find a wide variety of spots you should remember to apply sunscreen. Although there may be some variations, all are important places that you need to protect.
The top five1 places people miss applying sunscreen are:
Tops of your feet-just like the rest of your body, the tops of your feet need to stay protected. Remember to go all the way to the tips of your toes!
Lips- an SPF lip balm is the perfect solution to keeping your lips healthy and safe.
Eyelids-your eyelids can be burnt too! Remember to wear sunglasses or apply a gentle sunscreen here when doing the rest of your face.
Scalp-this can be a tricky place to put sunscreen. A hat is a great way to keep your head protected.
Ears-the tips of your ears can get burnt easily since they tend to poke out from your hair or your hat, don’t forget to give them some cover with sunscreen. Also remember to apply sunscreen to the inside of your ears (your conchal bowls) since this is a common area that basal cell cancers develop!
These spots are all important to protect for a number of reasons. Clearly, no one wants to get burnt (ouch)! However, another important thing to remember is that continuously missing these spots will increase that area’s risk2 for developing skin cancer!
Since certain areas are commonly overlooked when applying sunscreen, there’s a good chance that they are also places that you aren’t thinking of looking for any changes (such as a suspicious new mole). Forgetting to apply sunscreen and not noticing new or changing moles can be very dangerous, especially since it isn’t always easy to identify3. That’s why it’s extra important to perform monthly skin checks to be sure this doesn’t happen to you.
When was the last time you checked your skin?
Do you perform monthly skin checks? If you do, then you’ll know that some places on your body are harder to check than others. It’s important to be sure that you check all of your skin since skin cancer does not discriminate. If you’ve missed applying sunscreen to the same areas of your skin for quite some time, these areas are at an increased risk of aging, damage, and skin cancer! The best way to ensure that all of your skin gets checked is to use a mirror or have someone help you.
Have you ever done a monthly skin check before? If not, now is a great time to learn! To get started, click here4.
How technology can make your skin checks easier
Want to use technology to make your skin checks easier for you and your loved ones? There are many different tools available to help you examine your skin like your cellphone, a magnifier, or dermoscope. One of the most affordable and commonly used devices to enhance your skin checks is MoleScope5. It’s a mobile dermoscope that attaches to your smartphone or tablet to provide you with high-quality magnified images of your skin.
By using free apps and devices such as MoleScope, you can organize pictures of your spots, be guided through your monthly skin check, and (if this feature is available in your region) even send any images of suspicious moles to a local doctor for consultation! (If you’re ever uncertain about a mole, always be sure to get it checked by your doctor or dermatologist) This can not only save you time, but also give you peace of mind about your skin.
Now that you know what areas you might be missing, you can be sun smart and keep your skin safe and healthy this summer! Remember, prevention and early detection are key to giving your skin a long and happy life. You can even enhance your skin exams by using tools like MoleScope to check any suspicious moles. Protecting your skin and checking for skin cancer doesn’t have to be hard! Share this information with your family and friends can help ensure their skin stays healthy too. Have a safe summer!
The MetaOptima Team
Want to learn more about exactly how MoleScope can simplify your skin checks? Click below!