Lowering your risk of skin cancer as summer winds down

Posted at 4:30 AM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-01 09:19:27-04

PARKER, Colo. — As the summer winds down, families will be outside soaking up the last bit of sunshine before school starts over the next few weeks. Even though your kids may have a tan from the summer months, it is still important to make sure you are keeping their skin protected from the sun's harmful and powerful UV rays.

Denver7 connected with Elevated Dermatology & Skin Cancer Surgery Center, a new family owned business in Parker. Husband and wife owners and certified dermatologists Chris and Kate Messana said it is important to protect your skin throughout the entire summer season.

Dr. Kate Messana also shared that the most important component to look for when choosing sunscreens and sunblocks is the list of active ingredients.

"Making sure there is a physical blocker, so making sure there is zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in the sunscreen is what I think is the best for patients," said Dr. Kate Messana.

Dr. Kate Messana said the biggest difference between over the counter sunscreens and ones in a physician's office are the price and the feel of it on your skin. She said as long as the sunscreen contains zinc oxide, the better it feels on your skin the more likely you are to wear it. Kate also recommended sun clothing with a UPF Factor of 50.

Dr. Chris Messana is a Fellowship Trained Mohs Surgeon. The Mohs surgery allows doctors to get to the skin cancer quickly and efficiently, in most cases within a day's time. Doctors remove the cancer from the patient, put the tissue on a microscopic slide and observe the tissue under the microscope to look at all of the edges to make sure the cancer is completely removed.

With two young children at home, Drs. Chris and Kate Messana said they make protecting against sun exposure a daily part of their morning routine.

"I think every day when I put sunblock on them or they go get their own hat, our kids are going to be much less likely to need skin cancer surgery and their risk of melanoma is going to go down," said Dr. Chris Messana.