Skin Cancer: Tips for Prevention and Early Detection

O-B_shutterstock_170097638Are you regularly looking for the signs of skin cancer? A little prevention combined with early detection can greatly reduce your risk of serious complications from skin cancer. While any type of cancer is serious, skin cancer is highly treatable and often preventable if you know the proper steps to take.

Do you think only blonds or redheads can get skin cancer? Think again. Every race, even those with dark skin, can get skin cancer. Many people mistakenly think they are immune from this disease and don’t take the proper steps to prevent it. A recent study found that more than 3 out of 4 Hispanics weren’t regularly looking for signs of skin cancer. Whatever your race, self-examination for skin cancer signs can help you find problems early on. Paired with skin cancer detection from a knowledgeable dermatologist, this can be a valuable step for skin cancer prevention and detection.

Early Detection

Looking for the signs of skin cancer is important, but what should you be looking for? Schedule a skin cancer detection appointment immediately if you notice:

  • Changes in the Skin
  • Abnormal Moles or Dark Spots
  • Sores that Won’t Heal

The Skin Cancer Foundation has created a helpful step by step guide for performing a skin cancer self-examination.

Preventing Skin Cancer

Early detection is important, but so is skin cancer prevention. Dr. Matarasso has the following tips for reducing your skin cancer risk:

  • Avoid the Sun During Peak UV Hours- Stay out of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm if possible. If you must be outside, cover-up or wear sunscreen.
  • Avoid Sun Burns- Avoid sun burns and use sunscreen (at least SPF 15). Make sure to apply sunscreen over your whole body. Don’t forget your ears! Reapply every two hours.
  • Use the Right Sunscreen- When choosing a sunscreen make sure you choose one that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Dr. Matarasso recommends SPF 15 as a minimum; higher SPFs offer more sun protection.

Other Important Steps

In addition to doing all you can do to prevent and detect skin cancer, you can also enlist the help of an expert. Dr. Matarasso offers skin cancer detection appointments. A full body exam is performed and any problem areas are biopsied and tested. While self-examination is important, a professional exam is too. An expert eye may be able to notice problems you’ve missed. This is also a great opportunity to discuss steps for skin cancer prevention.

Skin cancer is highly treatable if found early. Protect yourself and extend your life by taking the proper steps to prevent skin cancer. A little prevention can save you from a lot of pain and suffering down the road.

Contact us today to schedule your skin cancer detection appointment.