At Home in Berks Fall 2020 - 24

FEATURES

Working Outdoors?

Learn How to Save Your Skin, Literally
By Dr. Jason Hendrix, Reading Dermatology Associates

F

or those of us who are confined to working in an office
or with the current COVID restraints, working from
our "home office," we look forward to the time we can
get outside, enjoy the sunshine and get some vitamin D. We
just apply some sunscreen, put on a cap and we're good to
go. But what about those whose jobs keep them outdoors
all day, every day, such as construction workers, lawn and
landscaping workers, postal workers and trash collectors?
Because these folks work long hours in the hot sun, it is
even more critical they are aware of the signs that may
indicate serious skin damage.

Those that experience long-term sun exposure not only
risk sunburn or sun poisoning but are prime candidates
for skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most popular type of
"cancer" as an estimated 9,500 people are diagnosed with
skin cancer in the United States every day and an estimated
1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime
according to the American Academy of Dermatology
Association. There are three basic types of skin cancer
- basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and
melanoma. The first two are treatable as they tend to not
spread to other parts of the body while melanoma caused by
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation does spread, making it the most
dangerous. Since UV rays are most dangerous
in the spring and summer, those that
make their livings outdoors are
most susceptible and should
take extra precautions.

Make it a Daily Routine.

Protection from the sun needs to be a daily routine. Let's
start with your clothes. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts
in dark colors offer the best UV protection but are less than
desirable when the temperature outside heats up. The good
news is that there are clothes made just for this purpose.
They are a light-weight fabric treated with a safe chemical
that contains an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) that
blocks out light. So, if you choose a garment that reads
"UPF factor of 50," this means only 1/50 of UV rays are able
to reach your skin.

Sunscreens are a Must.

There are many sunscreens on the market with an array
of SPF numbers (15, 30, 45, 50, 100) so you may wonder
where to begin. The recommendation is to use a waterresistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or
more which will protect you for up to three hours, but it's
highly recommended to re-apply every two hours.

Put a Lid on it.

In order to protect your face and neck (which are quite
sensitive to the sun), wear a wide-brimmed hat if possible.
There are accessories to wear over or under a hard hat if you
need to wear one. And remember to protect your eyes by
wearing sunglasses, preferably with 100% UV protection.
Remember, too, when taking a break, get out of the sun if
possible by finding some shade.

Identifying a Skin Problem.

Spotting warning signs early on is critical to detecting
skin cancer and experiencing best results through
treatment. An annual full-body skin exam
performed by a dermatologist as part of a

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AT HOME IN BERKs Fall 2020



At Home in Berks Fall 2020

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