Living in Australia, let alone the Sunshine State, the importance of sunscreen on a summer’s day is drummed into us before we can brush our own teeth. However, just because the temp drops and the sun sets a little earlier in the winter months, it doesn’t mean we can put a stop to slapping on some SPF. In fact, winter is a time where it’s just as important to keep up a safe skin routine and get in all your checks.
According to Cancer Council Australia, skin cancers continue to make up for 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers in this country every year. This isn’t something that hits pause just because we’ve got our jumpers on. So, we went to the people who know skin best – the pros. We spoke with Valley Plastic Surgery’s in-house Specialist Dermatologist, Dr Kate DeAmbroisis on all things winter skin.
Obviously, continue the SPF all day every day, just like you would on a burnin’ January date. On top of that, now is the time to keep your eyes extra peeled for skin changes and a great time to book in the annual skin check-up with your doctor. In fact, winter may prove to be the best time for a full skin check. As most people are covered up during the winter months, your skin is often less traumatised, ultimately making it easier for both you and your doctor to spot issues during a check-up in the name of skin cancer detection.
“We really encourage our patients to remain vigilant in their skin checks during this time,” explains Dr Kate DeAmbrosis. “If anything, you need to be more vigilant during winter because the issues developed over summer may finally be starting to come to the surface.”
During summer you are far more likely to notice moles or unusual lesions as more of your skin is exposed. Conversely, we are often less likely to notice suspicious moles in winter as we tend to be more heavily clothed.
“One of the easiest things people can do for their health is to turn skin checks into a routine annual procedure,” says Dr DeAmbrosis. “Something as simple as using the first day of winter to diarise a skin cancer check could save your life.”
The entire team at Valley Plastic Surgery consult on a wide variety of skin cancer issues and have performed thousands of skin cancer removal operations. Skin lesion surgery is generally rebatable by Medicare, so be sure to get a GP referral prior to attending your consultation.
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