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Skin Cancer Awareness Month


Practice Safe Sun

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and May 4 is Melanoma Monday®. As you head outdoors for warmer weather and fresh air amid shelter-in-place measures, the AAD encourages you to #PracticeSafeSun. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., and unprotected UV exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.

You can reduce your risk by:

  • Seeking shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

  • Wearing sun-protective clothing, such as a lightweight and long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection, when possible.

  • Applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all skin not covered by clothing. Remember to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

In addition, since skin cancer is highly treatable when detected early, the AAD encourages you to perform regular skin self-exams using the ABCDEs of melanoma. If you notice any new spots on your skin, spots that are different from others, or spots that are changing, itching or bleeding, contact a board-certified dermatologist. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, your dermatologist can examine the spot via telemedicine to determine if it needs to be tested or removed.

Learn more about how to prepare for your telemedicine appointment here, Telemedicine: How to prepare.

A young woman wearing a wide brimmed hat and applying sunscreen to her face
How to prevent skin cancer

Follow these tips to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays and reduce your risk of skin cancer.

This infographic gives important information on how to protect against skin cancer, including detailing the difference between physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen.
Say Yes to Sun Protection

Do you know that there are two types of sunscreens? Use this infographic to find out the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens.

This infographic tells you how to choose a sunscreen and how you can prevent sunburn, reduce your risk of getting skin cancer, and help prevent early signs of aging.
How to select a sunscreen

Today’s sunscreens can help prevent sunburn, skin cancer, and premature skin aging, like wrinkles and age spots. This infographic tells you how to choose a sunscreen that does all three.

A diverse collection of human portraits
Skin cancer in people of color

People of color have a lower risk of getting skin cancer than whites. But they still have a risk. Find out how to prevent skin cancer and detect it early, when it’s most treatable.

Baby with mother on the beach under an umbrella for sun protection
Infant sun protection: How to keep your baby safe

It only takes one blistering sunburn during childhood to nearly double a person’s chance of developing melanoma later in life. Follow these tips to protect your baby from the sun.

AAD's body mole map infographic thumbnail
Download the body mole map

Use the AAD’s body mole map to perform a skin self-exam, learn what to look for, and record your spots so you can refer back during your next visit with your dermatologist.

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