Skin Saving Tips You Need
At least once a year, we think it essential to go over the skin cancer basics – especially since Snooki seems to have made the suntan chic again (or, well, as chic as Snooki can make anything) – and since the scary truth is that melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers both in the United States as well as worldwide, with someone in the United States dying from melanoma every hour!
So, here’s what you need to know about prevention and detection…
Since most cases of melanoma are caused by exposure to UV light and sunlight, this most deadly form of skin cancer is vastly preventable! As most of you likely already know, the best way to prevent melanoma is to limit sun exposure. As Dr. Michael Gold explains, “the best defense for preventing skin cancer is to stay out of the sun and to definitely avoid tanning beds.” And when you can’t avoid the sun at a summer barbeque or day in the park? Lather on the SPF! Just be sure to apply an SPF of at least 30 at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and to re-apply often!
Incredibly, the survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early is 99%, so it’s essential to be on the lookout! To detect melanoma, dermatologist Dr. Fredric Brandt explains, “being proactive about self-examination and dermatologist visits can literally be the difference between life and death.” So, how should you go about detecting early changes? Dr. Brandt tell us to regularly inspect every inch of skin (using mirrors, if needed, to check tough-to-see places, and a blow dryer to see your scalp, being sure not to overlook your lips, under your breasts, between fingers and toes, under nails and on your palms and soles of feet). If you can, ask someone close to you to help you with your check. Look for the ABCD’s: Asymmetry, uneven Borders, uneven Color or large Diameter. Unsure about anything? Call a dermatologist!