Today is Melanoma Monday, the one day a year that is dedicated to increase the awareness of the prevalence of skin cancer and motivate people to detect the early signs of this potentially life-threatening disease. It’s estimated that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime and, on average, one person dies from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, every hour.
“Unlike other types of cancer, skin cancer provides visual warning signs that can be detected on the surface of the skin in the form of a ‘spot’ that changes, itches, or bleeds. When caught early, skin cancer has a 98 percent cure rate, which is why it is so important for people to know the warning signs and see a dermatologist for proper diagnosis,” says American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) president, Dirk M. Elston, MD.
Getting involved is easy: Wear orange today in support of skin cancer awareness, share this post with friends and family to spread the word and get a free skin cancer screening in your area.
Melanoma Monday is a cause close to the heart of two-time melanoma survivor and Washington, DC, dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi, MD. When it comes to sun safety, Dr. Tanzi offers these tips:
- Avoid the sun between peak hours (10 am-2 pm), use broad-spectrum SPF 30 (or higher) and reapply every 2-3 hours while in direct sun, wear hats, sunglasses and do your best to seek shade when possible.
- Get a full skin exam by your board-certified dermatologist and have him/her demonstrate how to do a self-skin exam. Performing self-skin exams every few months is one of the most effective ways to determine if any skin lesions are new or changing in size, shape, or color. In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, SkinCeuticals will be sponsoring free, full body skin cancer checks at select dermatologist offices across the country.
- Try double duty powder sunscreens because they apply like pressed powder so your skin looks great and is adequately protected from the sun. The built-in brush makes application easy on-the-go.
- If a mole has been changing in size, shape, or color, it needs to be checked right away.
- People think that UVA are the “safe” rays because they don’t burn the skin, but that is incorrect. UVA rays are associated with melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, and accelerate the aging process, leading to wrinkles, skin laxity and brown spots.
- And always remember: “Absolutely no tanning beds—ever!
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