If you live in South Florida, you know about our never-ending summer. With the hot sun shining brightly overhead, we all experience unintended side effects of sun exposure. Regardless of your skin color, exposure to the sun carries many dangers to one’s skin. From freckles and wrinkles to benign tumors or cancerous skin lesions, there are many dangers associated with prolonged unprotected sun exposure. Rash, exhaustion and fainting spells are not uncommon in Florida. Prolonged exposure to the sun can also carry serious side effects, such as basal cell carcinoma, which is a type of skin cancer. Read on to find out how to protect yourself from the Florida sunshine.

Bring the Sunscreen

The Sun’s ultraviolet rays have the potential to damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes! The American Academy of Dermatology suggests applying SPF 30 or above 15 minutes before sun exposure. If you have very pale skin, we suggest an even higher SPF. There are many brands that offer easy application, such as spray-on sunscreens that can reach behind your back. If you’re spending time at the beach or in the water, make sure to reapply often. Putting on your sunscreen can take 2 minutes, but a bad sunscreen can last weeks! Liberally applying sunscreen reduces the chance of basal cell carcinoma.

UV Shirts

There are many companies out there that sell long-sleeved shirts that are UV (ultraviolet) proof. Many surfing and fishing companies make these shirts, as their customers often spend extended periods of time out in the sun. If you are going to be on a boat all day with no cloud cover, a long sleeved UV shirt and sunscreen is highly recommended.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma – a type of skin cancer – is an uncontrolled growth or lesion that can occur in the deepest layer of the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin). These growths often look like shiny bumps, scars and open sores that can occur due to cumulative or intense sun exposure. Even though these growths usually do not grow beyond the original tumor site, they can be spread to others parts of the body and become life-threatening. There are prescription medications that can help fight BCC. Contacting your doctor should be the first thing you do if you suspect you have basal cell carcinoma. BCCs are only one type of complication that can arise from prolonged periods of sun exposure.

Prescription Assistance

If you are having trouble paying for your medications or prescriptions for help in the treatment of cancer and basal cell carcinoma, give us a call! Prescription assistance is available here. We will work with you and your doctor to help expedite the approval process and get you your medication for little to no cost. Are you uninsured or under-insured? Not a problem. We work with low income and Medicare prescription individuals that are having difficulty paying for their medications. Our patient assistance programs provide free or discount drugs, as well as copay assistance. If you need help paying for your medication in the treatment of cancer or other afflictions, do not hesitate to give us a call.