Happy Skin Cancer Awareness month! May brings a month of spreading knowledge and educating others on skin cancer. Let’s start off with some fast and interesting facts: Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, as well as the most preventable. Additionally, most skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. With these facts, it’s easy to conclude that sun protection is key. When skin cancer is detected early, it is generally the easiest to treat.
Why not protect ourselves when it can be done so easily!? Good sun protection habits include wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB radiation and has a 30-50 SPF, always seeking shade, avoiding tanning and tanning beds, and wearing UPF clothing while outdoors. Using sun protective measures on a daily basis does not have to be a chore and can be easily adopted into a lifestyle. Your skin will thank you years down the road.
Be proactive! You can play an important role by examining your skin EVERY month. No one knows your skin better than you. Take control and look for any new or changing lesions. Alarm signs include lesions that change, itch, bleed or don’t heal. Always make sure to contact your provider if you notice any of the above.
If you have not had your skin checked recently, this is a great time to see a provider in dermatology. A provider will be able to identify any atypical lesions and make sure you are treated appropriately if needed.
Written by Mallory Reinoso, Dermatology ARNP-BC & Siren Luminary
Follow Mallory on Instagram! @mallory.nicole