Whether you’re spending your time outside or indoors, sunscreen is essential every day. We’ve said it before: sunscreen is your best anti-aging treatment. Not only does it protect against fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and other sun damage, it’s also your best defense against skin cancer.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States—one in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their life—but it’s also one of the most preventable cancers. Wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen every day is the best way to protect yourself from the sun’s damaging rays. Dr. Joel Schlessinger, LovelySkin CEO and board-certified dermatologist, always recommends applying sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 and reapplying at least every two hours, or more often if you are swimming or sweating.
Dr. Schlessinger’s favorite: EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
Celebrate Melanoma Monday by Getting Checked Out
Today we’re celebrating Melanoma Monday by checking our skin for spots of concern! This healthy holiday is designed to raise awareness about melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. It’s estimated that more than 135,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed each year in the United States alone. If melanoma is diagnosed and treated in its early stages, it is almost always curable. If it’s not caught early, melanoma can be fatal.
Checking your skin is easy! Simply look at your skin from head to toe at least once a month. A change in a mole or growth is generally the first sign of skin cancer. Look for signs of change over time including bleeding, irritation, itching or dark coloration. Don’t forget to check the bottoms of your feet, behind your ears and in between your fingers and toes!
The easiest way to examine your moles and birthmarks is by using the ABCDE rule, which can help spot the early signs of melanoma:
- Borders with irregular edges
- Color is varied from one area to another
- Diameter is larger than a pencil eraser
- Evolving over time, changing in size, shape or color
Even if you are attentive to any possible changes in your skin, it is still crucial to see a board-certified dermatologist for a full annual checkup. Your dermatologist is uniquely qualified to recognize, evaluate and treat all types of skin cancers.
Other Skin Cancer Prevention Tips
Prevention is key when it comes to skin cancer. In addition to sunscreen, there are several other steps you can take to shield your skin, including:
- Staying inside or seeking shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Covering up with a wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeved clothing with a UPF rating
- Protecting your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses
- Boosting your topical sunscreen with Heliocare Sun Protection Pills
- Avoid tanning and stay away from tanning beds at all costs!
How do you protect your skin from the sun? Share with us in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #LovelySkin!