Dermatologists give tips on preventing skin cancer ahead of the summer season

GREENVILLE NC (WNCT) — It’s the unofficial start of summer, but that means it’s also time to protect against skin cancer.

North Carolina ranks 16th in the nation for new cases of melanoma, and skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. 9OYS spoke to dermatologists who said there are many ways to prevent skin cancer. Although some skin types are more prone to skin cancer, too much sun is dangerous for all of us.

“The two main ways people can, for the most part, get skin cancers are UV rays from the sun and tanning beds,” said Dr. Tiffany Alexander, dermatologist at ECU Health. She added that it’s important to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 in the sun.

Alexander explained that there are different types of skin cancer – basal cell and squamous cell – both of which can be easily treated if detected in time. There is also melanoma, which can be more serious.

“It’s the least common, but it can be the most deadly,” Alexander said.

However, she says, even melanoma can be easily treated if caught before it spreads, and there are several ways to monitor it.

“We like to say watch out for the ABCD-Es of melanoma,” Alexander said. These mean asymmetrical, border, color, diameter and evolution.

“Look for a mole that can be asymmetrical, and up to ‘B’, the border, any kind of moles with jagged or jagged edges, then ‘C’, look for color variations,” Alexander said. . “So maybe one aspect is a light brown or a, it’s a very dark brown or black. That’s something we look at further down and then ‘D’, diameter.

“So if it’s over six millimeters, or the size of a pencil eraser that will definitely catch our attention, or the one that’s changing, the one that’s changing the one that’s growing rapidly or, you know, symptomatic.”

She also said that while lighter-skinned people are more susceptible to skin cancer, African Americans have a higher rate of melanoma in areas that aren’t often exposed to the sun.

“It shows up in areas that aren’t usually exposed to the sun, believe it or not, in African Americans it’s always the toes, or maybe even the fingertips or fingers sometimes,” she said. declared.

Alexander added that if you notice any moles or irregular lesions on your skin, it’s important to get them checked out by a dermatologist as soon as possible, and it’s also important to have general skin checks to make sure that ‘there are no preliminary problems.

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