Skin Cancer Awareness Month
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and we are giving you some tips on how to prevent skin cancer. Let's start with some startling facts surrounding skin cancer:
More than 2.5 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S.
More than half of skin cancers are diagnosed in people under the age of 65.
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lives.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and the second most common cancer out of all other cancer types.
The sun can be a very good thing for you. But, there are times when the sun can be harmful. If you’re a person who loves to be outdoors in the sun, then you must be aware of how to protect your skin from the harmful rays. You must be able to recognize the signs of skin cancer and take steps to prevent it.
The sun is the best thing to give us Vitamin D, and even controlling for Vitamin D levels, sunlight seems to have some health benefits. But, it can be harmful if you don’t take specific action to protect your skin from excessive UV radiation from the sun.
Different Types of Skin Cancer
Let’s take a look at some of the effects of the sun on the skin.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It can develop on the skin of the face, scalp, ears, nose, lips, hands, feet, and the back of the neck. The average age for the presentation of melanoma ia 40 years of age. Melanoma can metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body, if not treated early.
The second most common type of skin cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. It can develop on the skin of the face, scalp, ears, nose, lips, hands, feet, and the back of the neck. It’s also the most common cancer in the U.S. and the second most deadly of the common skin cancers.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. 1 in 5 people will have this form of skin cancer in their life. It is best described as a scab that is light pink, bleeds, and will not heal.
Tips to help you prevent skin cancer
1. Be aware of the signs of skin cancer.
If you notice a bump or spot on your skin, it’s best to get it checked out by a dermatologist. If you notice a change in the color of your skin, it’s best to see a dermatologist. If you notice any of the following, see your doctor right away:
Sores that don’t heal.
Lumps or bumps on the skin
Skin that is red, pink, or has a different color.
Skin that has a different texture than normal.
Skin that is itchy or sore or painful.
Skin that is swollen.
Skin that is bleeding.
Skin that is infected.
2. Wear Sunscreen
If you are going to be outside for a long period of time, you need to wear sunscreen.
You should really incorporate sunscreen into your daily skincare routine in order to protect your skin better. Even when you're driving, or taking the dog for a short walk, your skin is still being exposed to sun rays that can cause skin cancer.
3. Get your skin checked regularly.
If skin cancer is common in your family, you've had it before, or you spend most of your time outdoors, it's important to see your dermatologist more frequently. Since you may have a higher chance of getting skin cancer, it's important to be able to catch it and treat it early.
4. Protect Your Face/Body From The Sun
Another tip, is if you are in the sun for a long period of time, it's important to wear a visor or hat to protect your face from the sun. Also consider wearing shirts with sleeves to protect your shoulders and arms.
If you think you may have some form of skin cancer, contact Advanced Dermatology today for a consultation.