WRITTEN BY Dr. Peggy Fuller
With summer quickly approaching, now is the time to revisit the skin that you are in. This year, remember to be sun-smart.
It’s time to stop procrastinating and schedule that annual full skin exam to check moles and screen for skin cancer.
Unless you want your skin to eventually resemble a crocodile, avoid deliberate tanning in tanning beds or frying and baking your skin in the sun. Spray tans by a reputable salon are an excellent way to achieve that warm-weather glow.
Choose a tinted moisturizer with SPF greater than 15 to 30. Look for both UVA and UVB protection. Reapply every two hours while outside—really!
Wear sunglasses to avoid that “sun squint” and to help prevent macular degeneration.
Look stylish with hats, sun umbrellas and colorful rash guards. Rash guards are athletic shirts designed to help your skin stay healthy during watersports and time spent outside.
Do a monthly self-exam. Skin cancers and abnormal moles may resurrect during the summer. Know the ABCDE’s of Melanoma (see below).
The ABCDE’s of Melanoma
ASYMETRICAL: Two halves that do not match.
BORDERS: Uneven borders or edges that may be scalloped or notched.
COLORS: A variety of colors is another warning sign. A melanoma may also be red or blue.
DIAMETER: Melanomas are usually larger than the size of a pencil eraser. But they sometimes may be smaller when first detected.
EVOLVING: Watch for changes in size, shape, color and elevation, as well as symptoms such as bleeding, itching or crusting. These may point to danger.