April and May are surprisingly huge months for sunburns. There is still a slight chill in the air, so most people don’t bother with sunscreens. Teens on doxycycline and minocycline antibiotics for acne have forgotten the warnings that they are extremely sensitive to the sun on these medications. The follicularly challenged men (also known as balding) neglect to wear their baseball caps. They have already forgotten the discomfort of my liquid nitrogen treatment of their precancerous scalp spots last year. The runners forget they need a waterproof sunscreen that resists sweating. And the walk-a-thons! So many painful, red, swollen noses and forearms.
There is no question that ultraviolet light contributes to the development of skin cancer, just as cigarettes contribute to lung cancer. It has also been proven that protecting from the sun reduces the incidence of skin cancer. Furthermore, and many of my patients will heed this warning more, ultraviolet light makes you look old before your time. Wrinkles, brown spots, big pores, yellowish bumps, a sallow tone, these are the harvest of the sun worshiper.