By Thi Tran, DO and Joann Heim
Warmer weather more often than not, means more time outdoors in the sun. Although some exposure to sunlight can be enjoyable and beneficial, too much can be harmful. When you experience overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, it can lead to a very uncomfortable and painful sunburn. Too much exposure can also lead to more serious health problems, eye damage, suppression of one’s immune system, premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.
Did you know just 1 sunburn increases
your chance of skin cancer & melanoma?
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 85% of melanoma can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. The rise in the incidence of skin cancers can be related to the increasingly popular outdoor activities and recreational exposure. The American Cancer Society states, although it is largely preventable, it is the most common form of cancer diagnosed annually.
Should you avoid the outdoors?
Of course not – Enjoy the outdoors! According to the CDC, being physically active outside is healthy and can help prevent conditions like obesity. But it is also important to be sun smart when playing and working outdoors.
According to The Skin Cancer Foundation – Mohs surgery is on the rise, for good reasons:
It has the lowest recurrence rates, highest cure rates and best cosmetic results of any skin cancer treatment.
UV Safety Basics:
Protecting your skin from the sun is important year-round, but when you’re spending more time outdoors throughout the summer months, it becomes even more important.
ABCDE’s of Melanoma
• A for Asymmetry – Normal moles or freckles are typically symmetrical. In cases of skin cancer, spots will not look the same on both sides.
• B for Border – Moles, spots, or “beauty marks” are typically round and of no cause for concern. Those with a with blurry and/or jagged edge can be a sign of a cancerous or pre-cancerous growth.
• C for Color – A mole that has more than one color should be considered suspicious.
• D for Diameter – If a growth is larger than a pencil eraser (about 1/4 inch or 6mm), it needs to be checked by a doctor.
• E for Elevation – Elevation means that the mole or growth is raised and has an uneven surface.
• Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher – Reapply ever two hours
• Wear an SPF lip balm
• Wear protective clothing – wide brim hat, sunglasses and lightweight long sleeves
• Seek shade
• Avoid the sun between 10:00am to 4:00pm, even when it’s cloudy
• Self-checks –look for any new moles or lesions. A new or changing mole should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
• Get a professional skin cancer screening once a year.
Because early detection is the key to successful treatment, Village Dermatology continues to emphasize the importance of regular skin cancer screenings, knowing that proactive prevention is the smartest of strategies.
Applying sunscreen every morning before going outside should be as natural as brushing your teeth.
Dr. Tran has dual-board certification in Dermatology and Mohs Micrographic Surgery . He is a fellow of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology and American Academy of Dermatology & ASMS.
He did his undergraduate work at Case Western Reserve University, and received his medical degree from Ohio University. Dr. Tran completed his residency and post-graduate training in medical and surgical dermatology at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, where he served as Chief Resident.
1950 Laurel Manor Drive
Building 220—Suite #224, The Villages, FL 32162