Arm yourself with the best habits for healthy, cancer-free skin.
With the warm summer months fast approaching, some people’s minds turn to the beach while others consider ways to protect their skin from the effects of the sun. Anyone can develop skin cancer, and the sooner you create a skin cancer prevention regimen the better. Our East Greenwich, Narragansett, Westerly, and Barrington, RI, dermatologists, Dr. Robert Dyer and Dr. Vincent Criscione, are here to provide tips for preventing skin cancer, as well as warning signs to look out for.
How to Prevent Skin Cancer
There are a myriad of things you can do to prevent skin cancer. The number one rule is to always wear sunscreen before going outside. Make sure to lather on a generous amount of sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays while also offering an SPF of 15 or higher.
Here are some other tips to follow to keep skin healthy and cancer-free:
- Apply sunscreen all over your body and face about 30 minutes before going outside
- Make sure to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours (or immediately after getting out of the water or sweating)
- Avoid being in the sun (stay in the shade) between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM
- Visit your dermatologist once a year for a thorough physical exam
- Make sure to perform monthly skin exams
- Stay away from the tanning bed
- Wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat
Early Warning Signs of Skin Cancer
Not sure what you’re supposed to be looking for when it comes to performing a skin exam? Check all moles, growths, and markings on your body and follow your ABCDEs to figure out whether the growth might require further evaluation from our East Greenwich, Narragansett, Westerly, and Barrington skin doctors. Here are some things to look for:
- Asymmetry: If you were to draw an invisible line down a healthy mole both sides should look identical. An abnormal growth or mole will not look the same on both sides.
- Border: Suspicious growths will have uneven or poorly defined borders.
- Color: Healthy moles should only be one color, while cancerous growths may contain multiple colors of brown, black, blue, white, or pink.
- Diameter: While melanoma can be small, most often than not, they appear larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
- Evolving: A healthy mole will look the same over the years, but melanoma will often change in shape, size, or color
It’s a good idea to come in once a year to visit our skin specialists in East Greenwich, Narragansett, Westerly, and Barrington, RI, for a skin cancer evaluation. No matter if you have risk factors or not, these checkups could just end up saving your life. Schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists at South County Dermatology today.