As temperatures get warmer, it’s time to head outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. Whether you’re going to a park, playground, or beach, it’s important to practice safety in the sun to help prevent skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, and melanoma is the most dangerous one. Anyone can develop it, and it can appear anywhere on the body. Melanoma can be caused by getting too much ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or from sources such as indoor tanning.
When going outside, it is key to:
• Seek shade
• Wear clothes that cover the skin from the sun
• Wear a wide-brim sun hat
• Wear sunglasses
• Wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15
Regular skin self-exams can help detect skin cancer and melanoma in its earliest stages, giving people the best chance for successful treatment. Look for changes or new, unusual growths on your skin by following these instructions from the American Academy of Dermatology:
• Examine your body – front and back in the mirror – then look at the right and left sides with your arms raised.
• Bend elbows and look carefully at forearms, underarms, and palms.
• Look at the backs of your legs and feet, the spaces between your toes, and the soles of your feet.
• Examine the back of your neck and scalp with a hand mirror. Part hair for a closer look.
• Finally, check your back with a hand mirror.
If you have any questions or concerns, please follow up with your health care provider.