After a long winter that seemed to last all spring long, summer temps have finally arrived in Chicago and that means Chicagoans will begin crowding the rooftops, local pools, street fests, beaches and lake front paths to soak up the summer rays. In 2014 the National Cancer Institute projects 76,100 new cases of melanoma and 9,710 melanoma deaths, which means sunscreen is more important than ever.
Christina Shannon, ND, Clinical Director of Naturopathic Medicine at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center shares tips to help protect against skin cancer. Some of the tips she discusses include:
Tips for natural ways to protect your skin during the summer months...
- Natural sunblock - zinc oxide, Christina can bring in some of the best alternative sunblock on the market
- SPF clothing - from protective swim wear to workout gear, Christina can walk through the benefits of using these options in addition to sunscreen
- Home remedy/ natural products for treating sunburn - pure Aloe Vera, botanicals and herbal products, Christina can walk through the soothing effects and skin healing properties
- Nutrition - berries and dark leafy are high in antioxidants and lower your risk for developing cancer, and green tea has anti-inflammatory proper ties (studies suggest green tea may reduce damage from UV rays). Christina will bring in some of these cancer fighting foods for display
Tips for general sun safety...
- Avoid being outdoors for extended periods of time during intense hours of the sun (11 am - 3 pm)
- Wear sunscreen and protective clothing/eye wear
- Remember that cancer risk goes up from cumulative sun exposure/burns
- Just because you don't burn doesn't mean you're not increasing your risk and damaging your skin
Christina can also walk through skin issues to keep an eye on....
- Abnormal or changing moles/freckles
- Abnormal skin patches/blemishes
- Skin lumps and bumps