Don't Think You Need Sunscreen? Look at Your Butt

woman wearing shorts on bike

Maybe you think sunscreen is a pain in the ass. It's gloopy. It's spendy. Or maybe you're one of those people who's pretty convinced that it's just another government conspiracy in a bottle. But your butt -- yes, that one -- begs to differ.

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Take a quick peek at your cheeks and you're going to find skin that's far tighter and smoother than the rest of your bod. Pilates and spinning have only a little to do with it.

The real reason for your gorg complexion down there? The fact that aside from the occasional excursion to a nude beach, your butt Never. Sees. The. Sun.

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Vampire Butt is real and it's spectacular. It's how the rest of your skin would look if it hadn't been ravaged by years of sunshine.

"It's true," confirms Dr. Anne Chapas, MD, director of Union Square Laser Dermatology and an instructor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "For most people, [the butt] is the most sun-protected part of the body."

So go ahead and take a good look. Grieve a little for the super-smooth skin you don't have anywhere else on your bod. But it's what you do next that matters more.

"Rather than focusing on the part of your body that gets the least amount of sun, it's important to check all of your skin," says Dr. Delphine Lee, MD, PhD, dermatologist and director of the Dirks/Dougherty Laboratory for Cancer Research and Department of Transitional Immunology at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California.

Anyone can get skin cancer, FYI, regardless of skin color. And 1 in 5 of us will. The good news is that, "when caught early," says Dr. Lee, "skin cancer is highly treatable."

Hopefully, you already know the ABCs of melanoma that should make you schedule an appointment with your derm post-haste:

A (Asymmetry): One half of a mole doesn't match the other.

B (Border irregularity): Ragged or blurred borders.

C (Color): Color varies within a mole.

D (Diameter): A mole that's bigger than 6mm (about a pencil eraser.)

E (Evolving): Any mole that's changing size, shape or color.

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And don't stop at simply being watchful for potential skin weirdness. You've also gotta take steps to protect your skin. It'll never be as baby-soft as your butt, but you can at least prevent more wrinkles and roughness from this point forward.

You KNOW what we're going to say, but it bears repeating:

Wear sunscreen.

"Research shows that daily sunscreen use can cut the incidence of melanoma in half," says Dr. Lee.

To get the most protection, use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum brand with an SPF of 30 or higher. Put it everywhere that's not covered by clothing -- especially your face, ears, arms, neck, and hands, since those tend to be hit by the most sun, Dr. Lee says.

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And don't skimp on it. You need to use one ounce -- i.e., a shotglass full -- each time you hit the beach or swimming pool. Then reapply every two hours.

Seems like a lot of work, yes?

But your bottom line says it's so worth it.

 

Image via fizkes/Shutterstock

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