May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Many dermatologists love this time of year because it brings attention to one of the things that they focus on and teach patients about all year. Skin cancer is much more common than people think and it should be taken seriously.
Causes of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the single most common type of cancer in the US. In fact, 1 in every 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, skin cancer does not discriminate. People of all skin colors get skin cancer, not just lighter complexions.
The main cause of skin cancer is too much ultraviolet exposure from the sun or tanning beds. This UV exposure damages the genetic material in your skin cells, causing them to grow uncontrollably into cancer.
It’s true that some people are more likely to develop skin cancer. People with light skin, hair and eyes are at the greatest risk, because they have the least amount of melanin which protects the skin from UV damage.
Preventing Skin Cancer with Tips from a Dermatologist
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The same is true when it comes to skin cancer. You can significantly lower your risk of skin cancer by incorporating these tips into your life. and don’t worry, you can still enjoy outdoor sunshine while protecting your skin.
- Sun Safety. Wear sunscreen every day. Wear protective clothing and hats when you spend time outside and find shade when possible.
- Know Your Risk Factors. If you are at a higher risk, protecting your skin is even more important.
- Stop Indoor Tanning. Tanning increases your chances of developing melanoma with each time you tan.
- Routine Cancer Checks. Check skin regularly for any suspicious moles or spots.
Visit Your Dermatologist During Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Your dermatologist is there to help you keep your skin happy and healthy. Routine visits to your dermatologist are a great way to catch skin cancer early, which gives you the best chance at a cure.
To learn more about your risk factors for skin cancer, please contact Reston Dermatology and Cosmetic Center today.