How to monitor skin for Skin Cancer and what to look for in sunscreens

Skin Caner Awareness

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. And for Floridians, the daily sun exposure can be harmful overtime. But, adding sunscreen to your daily routine could help.

Dermatology of Coastal Sarasota’s Physician Assistant, Monika Wrobel, said to follow these rules when it comes to sunscreen:

  1. Look for sunscreens that are at least SPF 30.
  2. Apply sunscreen every two hours or 90 minutes if you are in the water. This time frame applies to SPF 100 sunscreens as well.
  3. Buy sunscreens that are Broad Spectrum so it protects against UVA and UVB rays.
  4. Look for sunscreen that is mineral based and has Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide in it. Those ingredients are safe to put on your body and have been proven to shield your skin from the sun.

Along with putting on sunscreen, people can do other things to protect their skin.

“We live in Florida, we love to do activities outdoors, so making sure that we actually look more at different options outside of sunscreen. The UV protective clothing, wearing our wide brimmed hats, making sure we’re wearing our sunglasses, so there are many different ways to protect our skin outside of sunscreen, especially for those patients who are concerned about chemical exposure,” said Wrobel.

Skin Cancer can be found in people of all ages. Dermatologist say people at home can check out their moles using the ABCDE’s to see if anything looks concerning:

Asymmetry: One half of the mole should match the other.

Border: The border of a mole should be round and crisp. It shouldn’t look jagged or hard to tell where the border ends.

Color: Your mole should be tan or brown, not black.

Diameter: The mole shouldn’t be bigger than the size of a pencil eraser.

Evolving: You could have a mole forever but if it gets too much sun exposure and starts to grow or change it could be cancerous.

Other things to look out for on your body is if you have any pink, pearly, or scaly chunks of skin or if you have a piece of skin that is crusting and looks like a wound but isn’t healing. In any of these cases make sure to see a dermatologist.

"The most common skin type for skin cancer is going to be your blonde haired, blue eyed. Red hair, you know the type of skin that tends to freckle right away. But at the same time, and again this is something that I tell my patients, Bob Marley passed away from Melanoma. So your skin type, skin color, doesn't always give you that protection that we need and sometimes there is that family genetic component to it," said Wrobel.

The most common places men see Skin Cancer is on their back and top of their ears. And for women it’s the back of their legs. A common place for both genders is the lips because that’s an area people tend to forget to protect.

Copyright 2019 WWSB. All rights reserved.