National Melanoma Skin Cancer Month

Melanoma skin cancer is one of the most dangerous forms of cancer in the United States. The risk of developing this type of cancer is increased with tanning bed use, sunbathing, excessive sun exposure, and if there is a family history of melanoma in a first degree relative.

Skin Cancer Prevention Tips

It’s never too early or too late to reduce your skin cancer risk. Here are a few simple things you can do to protect your skin:

  • Love the shade, especially when the sun is the strongest—typically between 10 am and 4 pm
  • Say no to UV tanning machines. The more time a person spends using indoor tanning beds or booths, the higher the risk for skin cancer.
  • Apply the right sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen of at least SPF 30. And, make sure to reapply it every two hours when outdoors. Also, reapply after swimming or excessively sweating.
  • Check your skin. We recommend an annual head-to-toe professional skin exam. In between, do a self-exam monthly. If you notice any change in an existing mole or discover any new spot that doesn’t heal or look right, schedule an appointment immediately.

Know your ABCDEs

Use the following to see if any of your moles have atypical features:

  • A = Asymmetry. Is the mole symmetrical or is one half unlike the other?
  • B = Border. Is the border irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined?
  • C = Color. Is the color uniform or varied from one area to another? Are there shades of tan, brown, or black or even sometimes white, red, or blue?
  • D = Diameter. How big is the mole? Is the mole greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser)?
  • E = Evolving. Has the mole changed in shape, size or color? A mole or skin lesion that has some other changes, such as bleeding, itching or drainage coming from it, may also be a sign.

Here for your dermatological needs Early detection is important because when melanoma is found and treated early, the chances for long-term survival are excellent. Please contact us to make an appointment for a skin check.