Skin cancer is a cancer that you can see, and that gives you an advantage! May is skin cancer awareness month, and so it is the perfect time to remind ourselves of the importance of early detection.
Early Detection = Better Treatment Options
According to The American Academy of Dermatology, “When detected early, skin cancer — including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer — is highly treatable. Research has shown that women are nine times more likely than men to notice melanoma on others, which means women could help save their partners’ lives by helping them spot skin cancer. This is especially important for men over 50 as they have an increased risk of developing melanoma compared to the general population.” Yet skin cancer often goes undetected until it’s too late. Let’s change that!
three things to look for
Your esthetician is an invaluable ally in screening for skin cancer. But self exams are just as important. Check your whole body (or have your partner help), and look for three things:
- Any NEW moles or spots, especially if they appear after age 21
- Any moles or spots that are CHANGING shape, texture, color, or size
- UNUSUAL moles or spots that itch, bleed, or form a crust
Reduce your UV exposure
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV radiation can also come from tanning booths or sunlamps. The most dangerous kind of skin cancer is called melanoma. Here in Las Vegas the hot desert climate can scorch your skin and create damaging effects in a matter of minutes.
Take some simple steps today to protect your skin:
- Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Put on sunscreen every 2 hours and after you swim or sweat.
- Cover up with long sleeves and a hat.
- Check your skin once a month for changes.
- Don’t let the clouds fool you. UV radiation can penetrate clouds, so don’t neglect sunscreen on a cloudy day.
Be smart about sun safety, perform a skin self exam monthly to look for changes, and encourage others to do the same! And stay out of the tanning bed! Using indoor tanning beds before age 35 can increase your risk of melanoma by 59%. No tan is worth that risk.
Looking for more information? Check out www.skincancer.org and www.thebigsee.org for more information and resources.
To reverse any cosmetic damage you’ve received from over-exposure to the sun, schedule a consultation with us online or call 702.496.2066.