April showers indeed bring May flowers; with it, days of sunshine return. While we’re all ready for those warmer days ahead, there are important considerations to take for reducing the risk of dangerous conditions. These begin this month. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. As the most common form of cancer in the United States, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70.
At O’Neill Plastic Surgery, we care about the skin you’re in. Part of that is staying on top of preventative measures for skin cancer. Today we are sharing our tips for effectively reducing the risk of skin cancer.
Reducing The Risk Of Skin Cancer
Get An Annual Skin Check
One of the best ways to protect your skin from skin cancer by reducing the risk is by scheduling annual checks. Our PAs have dermatology backgrounds, allowing us to offer skin checks at our office. In this procedure, they will look over your entire body, including areas such as the scalp, to see if there are any areas of concern.
Use SPF Daily
Sunscreen is essential every day. When your skin is in the sun, there is always a chance of damage. The sun’s rays can hurt your skin no matter the weather, cloudy, sunny, rainy, etc. By using SPF 15 sunscreen daily you can be reducing the risk of squamous cell carcinoma by about 40% and melanoma risk by 50%.
Monitor Your Skin
Alongside scheduling annual skin checks, you can also monitor your own skin at home. If you notice moles changing or differences in areas of the skin, it is important to note and consider discussing it with your doctor. By keeping track of your skin, you will be the first to notice these important changes and do something about them before it becomes a more serious issue.
Wear Optimal Coverage
We know the spring and summer months are full of days in the sun. However, you can always be cautious by dressing for the weather as well. If you are spending a day at the beach or an amusement park, cover up in the sweltering heat to avoid that constant direct sun exposure, reducing the risk. If you will be in a bathing suit or have minimal coverage, ensure you have enough sunscreen to continue to cover up the whole day.
While knowing your skin is one of the most important aspects of reducing your risk of skin cancer, you should also know the basics of how to spot it. The American Cancer Society provides an in-depth look into each individual type of skin cancer and the “ABDCE rule” that represents the characteristics to look for on your skin. As the most common type of cancer in the United States, everyone should read and understand this.
Avoid Tanning Beds
The sun itself can cause enough damage, but tanning beds are just as dangerous. Each session in a tanning bed does immense harm to your skin and has been found to be worse than laying out in the sun naturally. It is bad for your skin and increases your chances of developing skin cancer each time you use it. Using this service for a natural tan can be tempting, but the repercussions are not worth it.
Schedule An Annual Skin Check Today
Reducing the risk of skin cancer does not have to be a challenge. Using these simple tips, you can ensure you do everything you can to keep your skin healthy. Are you concerned about a new spot you have noticed on your skin? Our team of medical professionals is here to help you schedule your annual skin check today. Check out our website or give us a call at (843) 881-2130 for more information.