Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Practice Safe Sun
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. 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.
Follow these tips to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays and reduce your risk of skin cancer.
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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.
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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.