By Shady Grove Dermatology
July 01, 2021
Category: Skin Care
Tags: skin cancer   Sunscreen  

There are steps you can take to protect you and your loved ones from skin cancer.

This year alone, around 106,110 new melanoma cases with be diagnosed here in the US. Melanoma prevalence is on the rise, and the goal of our Rockville, MD, dermatologists is to protect you from both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. After all, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Here are some tips to follow to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

This is probably the most important tip to follow: Always practice good sun safety, and this doesn’t just mean during the summer months. After all, UV rays are powerful and potentially harmful all year long, even on snowy and rainy days. Since the sun’s rays are strongest between the hours of 10 am-4 pm, it’s best to avoid extended periods of sun exposure during these times. If you must be outside,

  • Wear sunscreen every day (more on that, below!)
  • Stay in the shade as much as possible
  • Wear protective clothing with tightly woven fabrics
  • Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to protect the ears, face and neck

Wear Sunscreen

Again, sunscreen isn’t just something that you need to put on once in a blue moon (or on that summer vacation); it’s something that you need to apply each and every day. UV rays are strong enough to penetrate through the windows of your car and clouds on rainy days, which can lead to some serious sun damage over time. Here are some tips on proper sunscreen use,

  • Look for a sunscreen that is broad-spectrum and protects against both UVA and UVB rays
  • Make sure that you use a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15
  • Apply sunscreen every day about 30 minutes before going outside. Make sure to reapply every two hours (or immediately after, if you are swimming or sweating).

Say “No” to Tanning Beds

At this point, we hope that most people know the dangers of a tanning bed, but just in case you need a little refresher: Tanning beds not only cause significant skin damage, but they can also greatly increase your risk for developing skin cancer. In fact, just one season can increase your risk for developing melanoma by 20%.

Skin Cancer Warning Signs

It’s important to know what to look for. The ABCDEs can certainly help people remember the warning signs of melanoma. Of course, a simple rule of thumb is, if any mole changes color, shape or size it’s a good idea to have our Rockville, MD, dermatologist take a look. You should also turn to us if: you develop a new mole, or you have a growth or mole that bleeds, crusts over, hurts or resembles a scar.

Here at Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD, we’ve made it our mission to protect our patients from skin cancer. Whether you’re noticing changes in a mole or you simply want to schedule a routine skin cancer screening, we are here for you. Call us today at (240) 246-7417 to schedule an appointment.


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