SkinSmart Offers Skin Cancer Prevention Tips
by Elizabeth Callahan,MD
Daily, I see people of all ages with mild to severe skin damage from the sun. I see young people with tanning-bed tans and older individuals still getting sunburns because they don’t use sunscreen or lost track of time in the sun! As a Mohs skin cancer surgeon, I urge my patients to reduce their exposure to the sun as much as possible, and to avoid tanning beds at all costs.
No one thinks they’ll get skin cancer, but according to the AmericanAcademy of Dermatology in the U.S., “It is estimated that there will be about 137,990 new cases of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, in 2013.”
Annually more than two million people in the United States are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer.
You can help lower your risk of developing skin cancer by:
· Paying attention to your exposure to UVA/UVB rays, whether from the sun or a tanning bed (which no one should be using!)
· Applying sunscreen with a Sunburn Protective Factor (SPF) of 30 or greater before going outdoors
· Staying out of the sun during the hours of 12 noon to 3:00 p.m. (when the sun’s burning rays are at its worst)
· Wearing sun-protective clothing made by Columbia, Coolibar and other clothing lines
· Scheduling regular skin screenings/skin checks with a board certified dermatologic surgeon
And, if you see a change in any colors on your skin or a mole or patch of skin that changes shape, see your physician right away for an analysis.
Put your trust in a trained dermatologic surgeon with many years of experience.