Taking care of your skin is very important for maintaining good health. Everyone should have an annual, full body skin screen by a professional. A dermatologist (skin doctor) is the healthcare practitioner who typically performs these exams. Dermatologists help to identify and remove precancerous skin lesions. Early detection saves lives.
The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays are what cause skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States and it is the most preventable! It is important to know what type of risk you have for developing skin cancer. If you are in a high risk category, you should opt to see a dermatologist more frequently.
HIGHEST RISK for developing skin cancer:
1. Family history of melanoma (the most serious form of skin cancer)
2. Overexposure to the sun: outdoor jobs, sports, hobbies (even with sunscreen, you increase your risk)
1. Light skin, light hair and light eyes
2. More than 50 moles - many moles means more monitoring
CALL THE SKIN DOC:
1. If you see a spotted, raised or abnormally shaped mole - (abnormal moles are more likely to become melanoma).
2. If you have a mole that has changed color or shape.
OBVIOUS by now (I hope)...
Tanning beds are known to be carcinogenic!
I have dark skin, dark eyes and dark hair. I won't get skin cancer.
It is vital to remember that any skin tone, skin type, skin undertone or skin color can develop skin cancer at any time. Sunscreen is your biggest defense. Be smart, be preventative and lather up with (@least) SPF 30!