The Spring sunshine has finally arrived and you’re excited to catch some sun rays and get that bronze tan you’ve been dreaming about all winter long.
Did you know May is Skin Cancer Awareness month? Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with over two million people diagnosed annually.
To lower your risk of skin cancer, keep these tips in mind before heading into the sun:
- Seek the shade, especially between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Cover up with clothing.
- Shield your eyes with wraparound-style sunglass frames that cover your skin, making sure they block UVA and UVB light.
- Protect your lips with applying lip balms with an SPF of 30 or more.
- Wear a hat with at least 2- to 3-inch brim all around to protect neck, ears, eyes, forehead and scalp.
- Use sunscreen with an SPF or 15 any time before going outside.
- Apply 1 ounce of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Avoid getting sun burnt.
There are many different kinds of skin cancer and they each have their unique symptoms.
Follow the ABCD rule for spotting melanoma.
- Asymmetry: A mole that has an irregular shape or two different looking halves.
- Border: Irregular, blurred, rough or notched edges
- Color: Most moles are an even color, such as brown, black, tan or pink. Look for changes in the shade or distribution of color throughout.
- Diameter: Moles larger than ½ inch across may be suspect, although some melanomas may be smaller than this.
Skin cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable cancers when detected early. So before you head outside to the beach, lake, sports game or picnic, remember to apply sunscreen and seek the shade!