Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Do You Know How to Prevent Skin Cancer?

May is skin cancer awareness month.

With the weather getting warmer and clothes getting lighter, it’s the perfect time to learn more about how you can protect yourself from sun damage. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the treatment for skin cancer costs Americans $8.1 billion yearly. The number of skin cancer cases each year continues to increase, so it’s important to know the warning signs and ways you can prevent damage to your skin.

What causes skin cancer?

About 90% of skin cancer cases are a direct result of sun exposure. We tend to think that spring and summer is the time to lather up on SPF, but year-round protection is important to prevent damage from the sun’s rays.

What are the types of skin cancer?

There are several types of skin cancer, but squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma are the most common.

What are the warning signs?

When performing regular skin self-examinations, it’s important to check for any changes in your skin. This can include changes in size, shape or color of a mole, a new growth on the skin or a sore or lesion that won’t heal. If you notice any changes or experience persistent itching or bleeding, you should see your dermatologist.

How can I protect myself?

Since sun exposure is the prime cause of skin cancer, limiting your time spent in the sun can help prevent skin cancer. However, it’s important to remember that there are other sources of UV rays that could cause skin cancer, too, including tanning beds.

When you are outside, be sure you apply sunscreen. Wearing protective clothing or laying in the shade can also help limit your sun exposure and help protect your skin from harmful sun damage.

What kind of sunscreen should I use?

When you are outside, be sure you are wearing a broad-spectrum, water-resistant SPF 30 or higher sunscreen. Broad-spectrum sunscreen helps protect you against UVA and UVB rays. While UVA rays can age your skin, UVB rays are the primary culprits of sunburn. Wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen ensures you are protected against both.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, SPF 30 sunscreen blocks up to 97% of the sun’s UVB rays. No sunscreen can block 100% of sun exposure, but you should at least use a sunscreen listed as SPF 30. Be sure to re-apply your sunscreen every two hours for the best chance at protection from sun damage.

Protecting yourself from the sun is important—it can keep your skin from prematurely aging and reduce your risk of skin cancer. Remember that sun protection is a year-round effort. You can help keep your skin healthy by following these tips and giving yourself regular self-skin exams.


You Might Also Enjoy...

Service Spotlight: What is Microdermabrasion?

Are you concerned about your skin’s tone or texture? Have you thought about trying microdermabrasion? Exfoliating treatments have a long history. But microdermabrasion wasn’t introduced to the United States until about 1990, with the first FDA-approved...

What is Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with hidradenitis suppurativa? Once thought to be rare, this condition affects about one to four percent of the population. Little is known about the cause. Because of this, misdiagnosis and under diagnosis are...

Psoriasis Triggers and Avoiding Flare-Ups

Psoriasis is common, affecting about 125 million people worldwide. While it’s not entirely understood, medical experts believe psoriasis is an immune response. The immune system causes skin cells to regenerate quicker than usual. There is no cure, but...

Provider Spotlight: Alexis Keen, PA-C

We are so pleased to feature Alexis Keen, PA-C, this month in our provider spotlight series! Alexis is a physician’s assistant, who has been with Loven Dermatology since 2019. She sees patients at our Gallatin location, specializing in a range of...