May: Skin Cancer Awareness Month
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and with over two million people diagnosed with skin cancer each year, we wanted to touch on the issue here in our spring newsletter. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, but it can be prevented and is, in fact, one of the most preventable forms of cancer.
Below are some tips you can follow to improve the health of your skin and reduce your risk of skin cancer from the sun.
- Just say no to burns: If you’ve had five or more sunburns at any point in life, your risk for melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) doubles. Don’t burn. It’s as simple as that.
- Stay in the shade: Perhaps you were wondering how to avoid burning? Staying in the shade is one great way. The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so this is the most crucial time to enjoy some shade.
- Avoid tanning beds/booths: UV radiation from tanning beds is known to cause cancer in humans and people who use indoor UV tanners are 74% more likely to develop melanoma.
- Cover Up: The clothes we wear can be an effective way to protect our skin from sun damage, especially dark colored clothing. A wide-brim hat and sunglasses also provide protection for scalp, ears and eyes, areas which are often neglected.
- Sunscreen: It’s important to wear sunscreen every day. Choose a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) product with an SPF of at least 15. If you are participating in any type of outdoor activity for an extended length of time, go with an SPF of 30 or more.
- Sunscreen, continued: It isn’t enough to use the right sunscreen; you also need to use the correct amount. A good rule of thumb is one ounce or two tablespoons of sunscreen for your entire body. Apply prior to going outside and then reapply every couple of hours or after swimming.
- Self-Exam: Each month you should examine your skin thoroughly from head to toe. Early detection is the best way to avoid more serious issues from skin that is left untreated.
- See a Professional: While self-exams are important, the most critical part of total skin health is visiting a board certified dermatologist regularly for a professional skin examination. Your physician, such as a member of our team here at Knoxville Dermatology Group, will be able to work with you to create a unique skincare regimen as well as address any concerns you might have.
Skin cancer is a serious issue, but through awareness and early detection, it’s possible to avoid the negative effects it can bring. If you have a skin issue you are concerned about, don’t wait to have it checked out.
Our team here at Knoxville Dermatology Group is here to help you get things under control and enjoy your healthiest skin possible. Schedule an appointment today with one of our board certified physicians to get your skin the care it needs so it can reach its fullest, healthiest potential.
Contact Knoxville Dermatology Group at 865.690.9467.