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Town Center Foot & Ankle

6510 Town Center Dr. Suite C Clarkston, MI 48346


By nick
July 18, 2011
Category: Uncategorized
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How to Protect Yourself

Photo: A woman wearing a hat.Take precautions against sun exposure every day of the year, especially during midday hours (10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.), when UV rays are strongest and do the most damage. UV rays can reach you on cloudy days, and can reflect off of surfaces like water, cement, sand, and snow.

  • Seek shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Cover up with clothing to protect exposed skin.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
  • Put on sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. The UV rays from them are as dangerous as the UV rays from the sun.


Skin Cancer Guide (ABCs)
The key to beating skin cancer is by identifying cancerous growths at their earliest onset. To help with this, the ABC Skin Cancer Guide has been developed.

Asymmetry - Asymmetry can be assessed by comparing one half of the growth to the other half to determine if the halves are equal in size. Unequal or asymmetric moles are suspicious.

Border -  If the mole's border is irregular, notched, scalloped, or indistinct, it is more likely to be cancerous (or precancerous) and is thus suspicious.

Color - Variation of color (e.g., more than one color or shade) within a mole is a suspicious finding. Different shades of browns, blues, reds, whites, and blacks are all concerning.

Diameter - Any mole that has a diameter larger than a pencil's eraser in size (> 6 mm) should be considered suspicious.

Elevation - If a mole is elevated, or raised from of the skin, it should be considered suspicious.

Sunscreen Myths
There are many misconceptions out there regarding sunscreen that we'd like to clear up this month. Please read the following if you have any unanswered questions:

- If it's cloudy, you don't need to worry about sunscreen.

No. Up to 80% of the sun's ultraviolet rays can pass through the clouds. In addition, sand reflects 25% of the sun's rays and snow reflects 80% of the sun's rays.

- Applying sunscreen once per day is enough.

No. Sunscreen should be applied every two hours -- even more if you're swimming or sweating a lot. Even so-called "water-resistant" sunscreens may lose their effectiveness after 40 minutes in the water.

- The new SPF 90+ sunscreens are better than SPF 30 sunscreens. 

Not much. Ultra-high SPF claims are mostly marketing gimmicks -- they don't provide an significant amount of additional protection. SPF 30 sunscreen blocks 97% of UVB rays, which is enough for most situations.

- Using sunscreen is enough to prevent skin cancer  

No. Studies show that applying sunscreen every day can indeed reduce the formation of actinic keratoses (also called solar keratoses), which can develop into the more serious squamous cell skin cancer. However, other ways to protect yourself from the sun are even better -- and at upwards of $10 per tube, using high-quality sunscreen in the proper manner can be very expensive. So what's the alternative? Simple: just stay out of the sun in the middle of the day. If you're at the beach, use an umbrella. Minimally, wear a wide-brimmed hat and a shirt.  according to a 2009 survey of 1,000 adults, almost one-third of all Americans don't use sunscreen at all and 69% report using it only occasionally



-  According to a 2009 survey of 1,000 adults, almost one-third of all Americans don't use sunscreen at all and 69% report using it only occasionally