Even if you think you’re being diligent about sun protection, you’re likely forgetting to apply sunscreen to these body parts.
Wide-brimmed hats and baseball caps can easily set sail on a strong summer’s breeze, so make sure that your scalp is protected with sunscreen along the hairline and parting. People who have their hair parted always miss that spot. Guys who are losing their hair and thinning on top, they need sunscreen there too. People might be hesitant to apply a greasy sunscreen in their hair, so use a spray sunscreen instead.
We tend to steer clear of the lips when applying sunscreen, but they shouldn’t go bare as they are very delicate and sensitive. There are products that have a waxy base that will stick to tricky areas like the lip. Sun protection for the lips is extremely important because once sun damage has occurred; the area has an increased risk of developing into an aggressive form of squamous cell carcinoma.
The backs of the knees
Sunburn in this area can be incredibly dangerous. The most common place for melanoma on a woman is the back of the legs. Don’t make the mistake of only applying sunscreen to the front of your legs. Be sure to slather a generous amount on the entire leg, front and back.
The sides of your face
You coat your nose, chin and forehead with UV protection, but often you’re not as diligent with the outer reaches of your face. People don’t want to get sunscreen in their hair, so they don’t push it to the edge of their face where they should. Your entire face is at risk for sun damage, so a thorough application is a must. Use a broad spectrum product for your face and body that specifically covers both UVA and UVB rays.
People totally forget their ears. A woman who has long hair applies sunscreen and thinks that she’s covered, but she doesn’t realize that she might tuck her hair behind her ear, or later she’ll be playing sports with a cap on. That’s why we see more skin cancers on the top of the ear. When you’re putting sunscreen on your face, go a little further and give some attention to your ears too. Like the lips, the ears can be a prime target for aggressive squamous cell carcinoma.
Enjoying summer in your sandals, flip flops, and bare feet? Continue your sunscreen regime past the ankles; cover the whole foot (including the sole), each toe, and under the nails – malignant melanoma can be diagnosed on the soles of the feet as well as under toenails. The easiest way to do this is when you jump out of the shower, cover your body with sunscreen from head to toe.
Dermatologists don’t commonly see skin cancers on the eyelids, but it’s still a good idea to protect this area with sunscreen in addition to wearing sunglasses and hats. The problem with the eyelids is that chemical sunscreens that can be irritating to the eyes. Choosing sunglasses with broad arms will provide additional protection for the sides of the eyes.
Like the back of the knees, the underarm area and its adjacent skin tucked along the chest is often left exposed. That’s an area, all the time that’s been missed and it’s bright red. You need to put sunscreen around your bathing suit or tank top straps because they can move and leave skin unprotected.
Hands are often the first location where aging becomes visually apparent, and UV exposure is typically to blame. Whatever you’re doing to prevent aging on your face – and sunscreen is a part of that – do the same thing for your hands. Always cover the skin on the palms and backs of your hands with sunscreen, and remember to reapply it through the day. Hand washing will remove the product’s protective qualities leaving your hands exposed to sun damage and possibly, melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma.