May is Melanoma Skin Cancer Awareness Month

melanoma awareness ribbon - NIMA Skin Institute, ChicagoDid you know that melanoma skin cancer is a common form of cancer in the United States. Fortunately, it is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer and is treatable, but only if detected early.

Preventing Skin Cancer

Here are a few ways to prevent skin cancer:

    • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
    • Avoid getting sunburns.
    • Say No to tanning beds.
    • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
    • Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant one.
    • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
    • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
    • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
    • See your dermatologist every year for a professional skin exam.

Know the Warning Signs

Early detection is important because when melanoma is found and treated early, the chances for long-term survival are excellent. As it progresses, it becomes increasingly harder to treat and has a worse outcome. Being diligent about protecting your skin is important, but so is knowing the signs of skin cancer. In general, note any new moles or growths, and any existing growths that begin to change significantly in color, shape, or size. If you see these signs, you should seek medical attention. Catching skin cancer early is the key to successfully treating it!

Here for your dermatological needs

It is critical to treat skin cancer as soon as it’s spotted. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment for a skin check.