It is estimated that approximately 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every day, and one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
May is Melanoma Awareness, Prevention, and Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation Awareness Month, and as the days get warmer, protect your skin and check your body with this guide.
How to Check for Melanoma
Early detection is critical in the treatment of melanoma, just as it is in many other cancers.
Identify the warning signs of melanoma in this way: ABCDE
- Asymmetry: Half of the mole doesn’t look like the other half.
- Border: The mole’s borders appear ragged, notched or blurred.
- Color: The mole is mottled with different hues of tan, brown, or black, with splashes of red, white, or blue.
- Diameter: It can be larger than a pencil eraser or a little smaller.
- Evolving: A mole or skin lesion that changes in size, shape, or color from the rest.
See a dermatologist right away if you see a mole that differs from others, changes, itches, or bleeds.
Which professions are most at risk for developing melanomas?
Outdoor workers are at a higher risk of skin cancer since they spend more time in the sun. Jobs in these industries are among the most likely to expose you to excessive sun exposure, resulting in skin cancer.
- Facilities management
UV safety tips to reduce your risk for melanoma
It is important to protect yourself against skin cancer by reducing skin exposure to UV rays, especially melanoma, using these tips:
- Protect your skin from sunlight by wearing protective clothing, including sunglasses, sun hats, pants, and long-sleeved shirts.
- Make sunscreen a habit. Even in overcast or cold days, skin can still become damaged by UV radiation. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that shields against UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of at least 30.
- Stay out of the sun’s rays between 10am to 2pm when the rays of the sun are the most intense.
- Avoid tanning beds as they produce intense UV rays, which can cause skin cancer and wrinkles.
- Wear sunscreen and sun-protective clothing around water, snow, and sand since they reflect the damaging UV rays which can increase your risk of sunburn.
Keep your skin safe this summer
The best way in the sun is to avoid skin cancer is to have your skin checked regularly by a dermatologist. Take all these precautions, and you can enjoy your time in the sun.