If you have a fear of skin cancer or if you’re in situations where you’re outside for long periods of time, there are a few ways that you can protect your skin and your health. Keep in mind that skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States and can impact any gender, any race, and any age. You could be more prone than others for skin cancer if you have a family history of the disease or if you’re a woman under the age of 40. If you have fair skin or light eyes, then you stand a greater risk of developing skin cancer as well.
Checking your moles
It’s extremely important to know what a suspicious mole looks like so you know when you should contact your doctor. The symmetry of the mole is usually abnormal. One side of the mole doesn’t look like the other side, which is often an indication that there are cancer cells present. Skin cancer moles often have irregular edges. The color of the mole isn’t always the same in all areas. The diameter of a cancerous mole is usually larger than 6 mm. Moles that are elevated usually need more attention than those that are flat. If you notice any changes in the size of the mole, then you should seek medical attention to have it tested.
Checking your skin
It’s not always moles on your skin that indicate skin cancer. If you notice a sore or a pimple that doesn’t seem like it wants to heal even after using medications, then it could be a type of skin cancer. You should also pay attention to areas on your skin that have a scaly appearance, especially if those areas have been exposed to the sun for an extended time. A common myth is that you feel you feel your skin burning outside or that you can’t get a sunburn if it’s cloudy. The sun’s rays can penetrate through clouds, and you can get burned even if you don’t feel that your skin is getting hot. If you use tanning beds, you stand a much higher chance of developing skin cancer.
If you plan on being outside, then wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. An SPF of about 30 or higher should be used if you have fair skin or if you already have areas on your skin that are of concern. Avoid tanning. Keep the sun from your face and other areas of your body by wearing a large hat. This is an accessory that you want to have on-hand if you plan on being outside in the direct sunlight for longer than five minutes as you want to offer as much protection as possible to your skin along with sunscreen. Staying out of the sun when it’s at its strongest during the day is often the best way to prevent skin cancer.
Schedule a Consultation
With the right steps, you can effectively prevent skin cancer or easily treat it. To schedule a skin cancer screening or talk about how you can protect your skin, contact our office by calling or filling out our online form.