Tips to Detect and Prevent Melanoma

Each year more and more people are affected by melanoma. Representing the deadliest cancer in North America, incidences of melanoma are increasing each year. Fortunately, it is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer.

Here are tips to prevent and detect this dreadful cancer at an early stage

WEAR SUNSCREEN. Did you know that you can get a 50% less chance of developing melanoma when sunscreen is applied daily? Wear a SPF 30 UVA/UVB Sunscreen Protection daily all year long, especially when exposed to sunlight for long periods of time.

AVOID TANNING BEDS. Studies have shown that regular use of tanning beds before the age of 35 increases your chance of developing melanoma by a sizable 75%. Avoid tanning beds.

KNOW YOUR PHOTOTYPE. If you have fair skin color, light hair, many moles on the body and you burn easily in the sun, you have more chance of developing melanoma. Wear a SPF 30 UVA/UVB Sunscreen Protection.

PREVENT SUNBURN. A sunburn, as unassuming as it may seem, is a major sign that the skin has been assaulted by UV rays and the risk of developing melanoma is much higher. Avoid sun exposure between 11 am and 4 pm and apply a SPF 30 UVA/UVB Sunscreen Protection every to 2 hours.

DO AN ANNUAL SKIN EVALUATION. Undergo an annual skin evaluation with a physician to detect any anomalies. Perform a monthly self evaluation as well by referring to the *ABCDE of melanoma and have a skin evaluation performed with your skin care specialist who uses a Wood’s Lamp (skin scanner) or other skin diagnostic devices.

CONSIDER YOUR PERSONAL HISTORY. People who have a history of blistering sunburns in childhood are more at risk, as are those with fair complexion, blonde or red hair, blue eyes and freckles. This doesn’t mean that darker skinned people can’t get skin cancer too. African Americans, Asians and Hispanics are more likely to develop melanoma on the soles of the feet and palms – and it often turns out to be a more serious case. You see, doctors are less likely to look for it or spot it, so it may be detected too late. Stay vigilant about doing your monthly self-checks and asking your dermatologist questions about your skin.

When it comes to preventing and detecting skin cancer, it pays to be mindful and take extra precautions. When it does occur, early detection is vital to getting the best possible outcome.