Loving the sunny days? Of course – along with your faithfully applied sunblock. Here’s how to know the skin you’re in.
DID YOU KNOW?
• WEARING SUNSCREEN DOESN’T CAUSE VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY. Vitamin D deficiency has been described as an epidemic. So the choice is: skin cancer as a result of sun exposure, or low vitamin D levels and all the attendant negative health issues after steering clear of the sun. The US Skin Cancer Foundation says you can have it both ways – no skin damage and no nutritional deficiency: ‘Prevailing studies show that people who use sunscreen daily can maintain their vitamin D level’. Harvard Health adds: ‘An Australian study showed no difference in vitamin D between adults randomly assigned to use sunscreen one summer and those assigned a placebo cream.’ On the other hand, the WHO says UV light from the sun is a proven carcinogen, linked to about 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers, about 86% of melanomas, and premature ageing of the skin. • NEW MOLES ARE THE
DODGIEST ONES. Look over your skin when you’re in the shower. If there’s a change in a mole, see a dermatologist to catch potential skin cancer early on. But if there’s a new mole, fast-track your appointment: according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 29% of melanomas came from a mole that changed, whereas 71% were from new moles.
IS YOUR MEDICAL SCHEME CUTTING INTO YOUR BUDGET?
Perhaps it’s time to think about switching to an EDO. Over the last 10 years, some medical schemes have introduced ‘efficiencydiscounted options’. The schemes source providers and networks that are cheaper and more efficient than the existing ones, and this translates into more cost-effective cover for their members. The downside is being restricted to this list. By March 2016, eight open schemes (or options within the scheme) offered them: Momentum Health, Discovery Health, Fedhealth Medical Scheme, Liberty Medical Scheme, Thebemed, Compcare Wellness Medical Aid Scheme, Medihelp and Bestmed. If you’re struggling financially, ask your scheme if they are willing to waive the rule about changing options only at the beginning of the year. You won’t know until you ask.