Tanning is Shady Business – By: Dr. Ryan Matherne, Dermatolgist
For many, the risk of skin cancer stays under the radar, according to Ryan Matherne, MD, Dermatologist and Dermapathologist on staff at St. James Parish Hospital. “Most people need a wake-up call about skin cancer dangers,” he says. “More than 3 million new cases are diagnosed in the U.S. every year.” In addition, skin cancer caused by ultraviolent rays from indoor tanning occurs more frequently nationwide than breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer combined.
Individuals with naturally dark skin may think they can afford to be less concerned about skin cancer; however, skin cancer develops in those with dark skin tones too. Dr. Matherne suggests limiting sun exposure between 10am and 2pm, using a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher (reapplying every 2 hours) and covering skin with clothing and a hat when possible. Dr. Matherne urges patients to avoid excessive sun exposure and suggests that those who want a bronzed look use artificial tanning products. “The safest tanning products, in my opinion, are bronzing creams.” Most bronzing creams, lotions and gels can be purchased at local retail stores and pharmacies for $5 to $10 a bottle.
Dr. Matherne provides adult and pediatric dermatology services including detection and treatment of skin cancer and cosmetic procedures such as Botox and fillers. He sees patients in the medical plaza located next to St. James Parish Hospital in Lutcher. To schedule an appointment, call 225.258.2020.
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