Mitchel P. Goldman, MD
President, ASDS

The start of summer is the perfect time for a reminder that there really is no such thing as a healthy tan.

Our attitudes toward tanning have changed dramatically. There is heightened awareness of the sun’s danger, with widespread warnings that the sun’s ultraviolet rays are a leading cause of skin cancer. One in five people is expected to develop some kind of skin cancerthe most common cancer in the United Statesin his or her lifetime. Deadly melanoma kills one person every hour.

Behavior is changing as a result. Tens of millions regularly apply sunscreen and avoid excessive sun exposure. At least 30 states have banned or restricted access to indoor tanning by minors, and the federal government is requiring that cancer warnings be placed on every tanning bed.

For years, skin experts have advocated that people protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays, not only because of skin cancer concerns but also because the sun causes premature aging of the skin. Everyone should:

  • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
  • Wear protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Avoid the sun when its rays are strongest, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Visit a skin expert for any suspicious lesion or change in the skin.

We dermatologists and dermatologic surgeons have plenty of tips to help people take good care of their skin in any season. Pointers include:

  • Establish a daily cleansing routine.
  • Protect lips.
  • Use moisturizer.
  • Avoid long, hot showers that can contribute to dry skin.

Members of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery also offer the latest devices and protocols to treat both medically necessary and cosmetic skin conditions. We are, after all, the leaders in skin health and beauty as well as pioneers in rapidly evolving technology and procedures.

Caution is key

Today, we use cutting-edge devices to treat burns, birthmarks and scars, remove tattoos, smooth wrinkles, tighten skin, treat redness and facial tone and remove hair. Dermatologic surgeons treat sun-damaged skin and minimize the effects of aging through a wide range of minimally and non-invasive procedures. We are experts in fillers and neuromodulators, vein treatments, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and much more.

Contact any board-certified dermatologist for answers to skin questions. And as summer kicks into high gear, remember to be cautious about sun exposure. Protect yourself.