Find it. Treat it. Beat it.
May is Melanoma Awareness Month and with summer right around the corner, now is a great time to become informed about the top skin cancer prevention guidelines:
• Seek shade when the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest – between 10am and 4pm.
• Avoid tanning and tanning beds – Research has shown that each indoor tanning session increases your chance of melanoma by 1.8 percent. According to Dr. Adam Asarch, Board-Certified Dermatologist and Fellowship-Trained Mohs Surgeon with Forefront Dermatology, “a tan – regardless of where you got it – is a sign that your skin has been damaged. As this damage builds, you speed up the aging of your skin and increase your risk for all types of skin cancer, including melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer.”
• Cover up with UV protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
• Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher everyday – sunny or cloudy. Even on a cloudy day, 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays pass through the clouds.
• Apply 1 ounce of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before heading outdoors. Reapply every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. “Be sure to cover every portion of your body that is exposed, “added Dr. Asarch. “People can often forget to apply sunscreen to their ears and feet.”
• Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which increases your chance of sunburn.
• Keep newborns out of the sun – It is not recommended to apply sunscreen to any child under 6 months of age so it is vital to keep them in the shade or out of the sun completely. Just 5 blistering sunburns in a child’s life increases the chances of developing melanoma by 80 percent.
• Perform a monthly skin check on yourself following the ABCDE’s guide.
Regardless of whether you have noticed an odd or changing mole, a yearly skin examination is always recommended as a preventative measure to skin cancer. The skin health experts at Forefront Dermatology are ready to see you for a simple, 10 minute skin cancer screening. To find the Forefront dermatologist nearest you, visit the locations page today.