l Keep skin from drying out by drinking plenty of water and using gentle mois- turizers, lotions, or creams.l Practice sun safety to prevent skin cancer. Sun exposure puts you at great- er risk of skin cancer, whatever your skin color or ethnicity. To protect your skin: • Limit exposure to the midday sun (10 am-4 pm). • Wear protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats and long sleeves. • Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and with both UVA and UVB protection. • Avoid sunlamps and tanning booths. l Check your skin for sun damage. Tell your doctor about changes on the skin, such as a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a change in an old growth. Ask your doctor how often you should have a clinical skin exam to check for signs of skin cancer. (See pages 53 and 54 of the Cancer chapter for more information.) l Ask your doctor if the medicines you are taking can affect your skin. For in- stance, blood thinners and aspirin can cause you to bruise more easily. Some antibiotics and vitamins make skin sunburn more easily.
Years of sun exposure can cause flat, brown spots called “liver” or age spots to appear on your face, hands, arms, back, and feet. They are not harmful. But if the look of age spots bothers you, ask your doctor about skin-light- ening creams, laser therapy, and cryo- therapy (freezing). Use sunscreen to prevent more age spots.