In our younger years, caring for our skin when out in the sunlight may not have been a top priority. It is not until you get older that you realize the effects of too much sun exposure such as sagging skin, wrinkles, dark spots, and even risks of skin cancer. In light of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we’re going to share a few preventative methods and facts to help you protect yourself this summer.
- Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. It can appear suddenly as a new spot on your skin or in an existing mole.
- 1-5 Americans will have skin cancer in their lifetime.
- As recently reported by the Skin Cancer Foundation, your risk for Melanoma more than doubles if you’ve had more than five sunburns.
- 90% of skin aging and wrinkles is caused by sun damage.
- When out in the sun, you should apply sunscreen with at least 30 SPF to protect yourself from UVA and UVB rays.
- The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — be sure to wear protective clothing or seek shade during these peak hours.
Signs of Skin Cancer
The American Academy of Dermatology states that you can self-examine with the ABCDE method to spot Melanoma. This means that when inspecting spots, you should look for asymmetry, border (one that is not defined in shape), color (including tan, black, white, red or blue), diameter (a larger spot), and evolving (in size over time). If you are still unsure, check out this infographic for some helpful tips for self-examination!
Taking care of your skin is extremely important. If you are concerned about specific areas of sun damage or are interested in treatments to renew your damaged skin, contact Dr. Dodde of West Michigan to see how we can help.