May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month!

*  Melanoma does not need sun exposure to occur. It can grow ANYWHERE on the body (scalp, bottom of the foot, under a nail etc.)

* The first sign of melanoma is often a change in size, shape, or color of a mole. Melanoma is not something you can FEEL.

Skin cancer prevention tips:

1. Avoid excessive sun/UV exposure including tanning beds.

2. Re-apply a quality sunblock every 2 hours or sooner if your skin gets wet when out in the sun.

3. According to the Environmental Working Group's standards,
Only 25% of sunscreens on the market are effective and work without potentially harmful chemicals.
Opt for a low-risk, safe sunscreen that doesn't contain health-compromising ingredients.

4. See your dermatologist for a full skin exam and screening.  Follow-up routinely per their recommendation based on your exam.

  •  Check over your skin monthly and monitor your moles for any changes in size, shape, or color.Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Color, Diameter & Evolving.

The American Academy of Dermatology urges everyone to examine their skin regularly.

If you notice a mole different from others, or that changes, itches or bleeds, even if it is smaller than 6mm, you should make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist as soon as possible. 

If caught early, melanoma can have a 99% cure rate.
Author: Lindsay McCarty, FNP, APRN-C

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