As summer is upon us, and we’re either coming out of quarantine, or confined to our backyard, everyone is eager to get outdoors and play in the sun. But before you do, make sure you properly prepare your skin for those ultraviolet rays and look for early signs of skin cancer.
It is estimated that one in five people will develop skin cancer in the United States. Skin cancer is categorized as: Melanoma and Non-melanoma. Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma are two of the most common non-melanomas. They account for over 90 percent of skin cancers. With uncommon exception, they are considered not lethal. Melanoma is less common, but is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Melanomas, if caught early, have an excellent prognosis. If not caught early, they may spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Self skin cancer screening on a monthly basis is recommended.
Use a full- length mirror to examine your body. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends examining your body from front to back, and then side to side with your arms raised. Make sure to look in creases such as your elbows, in between toes, and behind knees. Use a hand mirror to look at your back, buttock, groin, neck, and scalp.
When conducting a skin cancer screening, keep a look out for the items below.
The general description of a melanoma is a discolored patch of skin, which is flat, dark, and irregular. Using the American Academy of Dermatology’s ABCDE’s is a good starting point for checking melanomas. They are as follows :
We also recommend that you protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays by following these tips.
If you notice a spot that is different from others, that changes, itches or bleeds, or makes you nervous, you should make a skin cancer screening appointment. Dr. Brian Mekelburg and his team would be happy to assist you. Call us at (310) 659-9075 .