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Warm weather and sunny days are fast approaching, which means swimsuits, shorts and tank tops are right around the corner. Warm weather also means more exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. As you head outside for the summer, be smart.
Most skin cancers are a direct result of exposure to the UV rays in sunlight. Exposure depends on how strong the sun’s rays are and how well your skin is protected. You can still enjoy the outdoors; just plan ahead before you hit the swimming pool. Take these extra steps to protect your skin and lower your risk of skin cancer:
If melanoma is found early, it is almost always treatable, but if it is not detected, it can spread to other parts of the body. Follow the ABCDs of melanoma and watch for asymmetry of your moles, border irregularity, color and diameter.
The American Cancer Society says the risk of developing melanoma increases with age, but melanoma is not uncommon among people younger than 30 years of age. If you have a family history of melanoma, your risk is greater and you need to be screened and evaluated by a dermatologist or dermatologic oncologist. You don’t have to avoid the sun completely, but you do want to be smart and protect your skin for the future.
How do you protect yourself from the sun? Tell us in the below comments.
Learn more about cancer screenings at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
Learn more about dermatology services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
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