Did you know that:
- skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with over 5 million new cases diagnosed every year.
- majority of skin cancers are associated with ultraviolet radiation (sunlight or tanning bed use)
- it is also preventable with the daily use of sunscreen and other avoidance measures.
The three most common types of skin cancers are:
- Basal cell carcinoma (most common)
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Melanoma (most worrisome).
- Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that covers UVA/UVB with an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply every 1.5-2 hours when outdoors and always after water exposure (even if the sunscreen says “water resistant”). Did you know that most people don’t apply enough sunscreen? Apply at least 1 ounce of sunscreen per application to attain the SPF listed on the bottle. Avoid sunscreen use in infants younger than 6 months due to increased systemic absorption in this age group. Sun protective clothing/sun avoidance measures are preferred!
- Use sun protective clothing (wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, UV shirts, UV sleeves, etc.), try to seek shade when possible, and avoid mid-day exposure between 10am-2pm.
- Avoid getting a tan or a sunburn (naturally or with tanning beds)! Tanned skin is damaged skin and it increases your risk of skin cancer and wrinkles!
- Perform monthly self-skin exams looking for any new or changing spots (changing in size, shape, color, elevation, bleeding, non-healing). Any spots/moles/growths that are changing or concerning to you should be brought up with your dermatologist. Remember, skin cancer does not have to be symptomatic! If you are not sure, make an appointment!
- Make an appointment with your board-certified dermatologist for regular skin screenings and to evaluate any abnormal lesion.