The best way to prevent actinic keratosis is to protect yourself from the sun. Here are some sun-safety habits that really work.
- Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
- Do not burn.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
- See your doctor every year for a professional skin exam.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
Rex A. Amonette, MD
David J. Leffell, MD
Perry Robins, MD