May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Detection Month

Did You Know That Skin Cancer is the Most Commen Form of Cancer in the United States and One of the Most Preventable?

More than 3.3 million people are diagnosed every year in the United States with skin cancer, and while that may sound scary, with early detection it is one of the most treatable cancers as well. May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Detection Month and everyone can get involved to raise awareness and ultimately help save lives. 


As the mercury continues to climb and you enjoy the outdoors, remember to take care of your skin in the process. Sun exposure and sunburns are a leading cause of skin cancer. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you jump in the pool or head to the golf course. 

  • The sun is particularly strong during 10AM and 2PM so seek shade and use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and for extended outdoor activity use a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun as their skin is more sensitive and thinner then adults. Also, apply a baby sunscreen to infants six month and older.
  • Examine your skin monthly head to toe. You will be the one to recognize changes in shapes and color to any moles you may have.
  • Remember to protect your eyes. By wearing sunglasses, you not only protect your skin but also improve visibility and cut glare.  When purchasing sunglasses look for a pair that blocks UV radiation and protects the eye, eyelid and surrounding areas on the face.
  • Wear a hat and cover up. The wider the brim the better for maximum sun protection on your face. And don’t forget to slather on the sunscreen to cover your ears and neck.
  • Do not burn. While that tan may look nice, you may pay for it later in life.
  • See your doctor every year for a full body skin exam. 


Another interesting fact is that nearly 53 percent of skin cancers in the US occur on the left, or the driver’s side of the body according to a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.  But there are ways to protect your skin while cruising down the highway. 

  • Always keep sunscreen in the car and apply it!
  • Consider adding a window film to your side windows. Side windows have been found to let in about 63 percent of the sun’s UVA radiation. Transparent window film screens out almost 100 percent of the UVB and UVA without reducing visibility.  But keep in mind, they only work when the windows are up!
  • Lastly, avoid sunroofs and convertibles. However, if you do want to drive a convertible wear a hat to protect the back of your neck and head. 


Just be smart in the sun and protect your skin! 


Author Platinum Dermatology — Published May 6, 2019