The CDC reports that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer among Americans, and in 2013, more than 9,000 people died from melanoma. Luckily, skin cancer is fairly easy to prevent and much easier to detect early than many other forms of cancer. The doctors at Gaughf Dermatology in Pooler, GA, encourage their patients to take a proactive approach to protecting themselves against skin cancer.
Here are four skin cancer prevention tips:
- Stay In The Shade: The sun is at its most powerful between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., so try to stay in the shade during this time. You can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer by minimizing your sun exposure.
- Avoid Tanning Beds: It might be tempting to hit the tanning salon for that coveted golden glow—especially in the dead of winter—but lying in a tanning bed is no safer for your skin than spending time in direct sunlight.
- Wear Sunglasses All Year Long: Sunglasses might be the ultimate beach accessory, but you should really be wearing them year-round. The skin around the eye area is especially susceptible to wrinkles, and skin cancer can develop there if you don’t protect it.
- Apply Sunscreen Often: Everyone knows that sunscreen protects the skin; however, few people apply it frequently enough for it to be effective. Use a sunscreen that has a Sun Protection Factor of at least 30, and reapply it at least every two hours once you’re outside.
If you already follow all of the above, the next best way to protect yourself is by focusing on early detection. Skin cancer looks different on everyone, but there are some general warning signs that you can look for, including new growths on your skin and changes to any current growths. When you schedule regular skin exams at Gaughf Dermatology in Pooler, GA, a dermatologist will help you monitor your skin for any abnormalities. Visit their website to learn more about detecting skin cancer early, and call (912) 354-7124 to make an appointment today.