May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. As you spend more time outdoors, the American Academy of Dermatology Association offers five tips to protect your skin:
- Seek shade. Remember the sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Wear clothing that protects you from the sun. Wear a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection when possible. For even more protection, select clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) number on the label.
- Apply sunscreen. Apply 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 after swimming or sweating.
- Use extra caution when near water, snow and sand, as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from tanning beds can cause skin cancer and premature skin aging. Consider using a self-tanning product if you want to look tan, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
Since skin cancer is highly treatable when detected early. The AAD encourages people 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 dermatologist.
Melanoma causes the most deaths among all types of skin cancer, according to the CDC.
Here's four facts about skin cancer:
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
- Nearly 20 Americans die from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, every day.
- In 2017, 85,686 people were diagnosed in the United States were diagnosed with melanoma and 8,056 people died of melanoma.
- More than two-thirds of melanomas are diagnosed among adults age 55 or older.
Skin cancer develops in people of all ages and races. Be sure to check your eyelids, scalp, groin, feet, lips and hands for spots. If you see a spot that is changing, itching or bleeding, see a dermatologist.
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