We are well into the summer and long days filled with endless outdoor activities and blazing hot sunshine (at least here in Texas anyway!). While a few minutes of daily sun exposure may be good for you- helps with things like your mood and your body’s vitamin D production- too much can be harmful. In this particular post, I’ll focus on the sun’s link to skin cancer.
Did you know that:
- Your skin is your largest organ?
- Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer?
- Skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of skin color?
- Exposure to UV light, including tanning beds, is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer?
Let that sink in- you have it within your power to potentially prevent the most common type of cancer- isn’t that wonderful news?!
But how do I do this?
- Avoid tanning beds
- Seek shade when outdoors
- Wear protective clothing when outdoors- sunglasses with UV protection, wide-brimmed hat, long sleeved-shirt, pants
- Always apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) to all skin not covered by clothing 15 minutes prior to going outside
- Take special precautions with children because severe sunburns during childhood/adolescence may increase melanoma risk (American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2021. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2021.)
- Perform regular skin exams- monthly self exams and annually with your primary care doctor or dermatologist.
But how do I know if there’s a problem? This mnemonic was created to help identify melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, but can also be used to identify concerning lesions that may be less deadly forms of skin cancer such as squamous or basal cell carcinomas.
Not sure if your mole fits the above criteria? When in doubt, get it checked out! If you are in need of a skin evaluation by a qualified primary care physician, please visit our website to see how you can sign up for one of our affordable memberships and have your skin concerns, in addition to all your health needs, addressed.
We take care of many dermatologic concerns such as skin exams, treatment of rashes, many procedures like skin biopsies, skin tag removals and treatment of warts are included in our Complete Primary Care membership, FREE of charge! We help our patients save costs by taking care of most dermatologic needs and referring to Dermatology only when specialty care is truly indicated.
From our family to yours, have fun in the sun – but with protection!
Crafting your path to wellness and renewed vitality is our passion.
Dr. Monica Salas with Salveo Direct Care