May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, affecting people of every age, gender, and ethnicity. One out of every five people will develop some form of the disease by the age of 70.
Fortunately, it is highly preventable, and most forms are curable. It is never too early or too late to ascertain and reduce your risk. There are also several things you can do right now to help reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. Here are some important tips.
1. Always use sunscreen. You’ll want to always apply sunscreen that is SPF-15 or higher, about 20-30 minutes before going outside. Reapply throughout the day if you are going to be outside for a lengthy amount of time.
2. Cover up. It may seem obvious, but clothing can be one of the best defenses against harmful UV rays. Supplementing your exposed skin time by covering up with clothing, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses can aid in skin damage prevention.
3. Use the shade. Not only are shaded areas cooler than sunlit ones, they protect you from direct light from the sun’s rays.
4. Take care not to burn. Sunburns are no fun and the chances of developing melanoma doubles if you’ve had more than five sunburns throughout your life.
5. See a physician yearly for a skin exam. While self-exams are okay to do, they should never replace those done by a professional. Your physician can help set your mind at ease about any concerns and provide detection and treatment at any stage should a sign of skin cancer emerge.
These are just a few common ways to slow or prevent the development of skin cancer. For more information, visit our website or call 815-787-6500.
Heritage Woods of DeKalb
2626 N. Annie Glidden Rd
DeKalb, IL 60115