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Sunscreen and Skin Cancer

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The summer season's sun is gleaming down on your skin. Outdoor activities are calling and the water is pulling you in. You need to stay smart and be protected with the right sun protection for time in the sun.Check the Sun index for your area with the weather channel Ray Awareness . A site worth reviewing before heading out for a day in the sun.

Sunscreen is an obvious choice, how much do you really need? A SPF of 15 or higher will do an excellent job of protecting. A SPF (Sun Protection Factor) measures the products ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. For example, if your unprotected skin to starts burning or turning red in 20 minutes, a SPF 15 sunscreen prevents discoloration 15 times longer, about five hours.

Choosing a higher SPF will allow you to spend more time in the sun. Keep in mind, any sunscreen should be considered or expected to be effective over 2 hours without reapplication. Water, perspiration, and other factors dilute the effectiveness of any SPF. Enjoy the sun, protect your skin and have a great time this summer.

It is important to have regular examination for any new or unusual growths, changes in the size, shape or color of an existing spot. If you find anything suspicious, you should discuss it with your doctor right away. There are various types and signs of skin cancer.

Symptoms include

  • A skin growth, or sore that doesn't go away
  • Carcinomas can first appear as a light patch of skin. As the cancer develops, it may bleed or ooze and become crusty in some areas.
  • A waxy bump or rough patch on the skin.
  • New spots on the skin, change in size, shape or color of an existing mole.
  • A sore that does not heal
  • Redness or swelling that spreads outside the border of a spot
  • Itchiness, tenderness or pain

There is a ABCD rule to recognize abnormal growths:

A is for Asymmetry: A mole that has an irregular shape, or two different looking halves.
B is for Border: Irregular, blurred, rough or notched edges may be signs of skin cancer.
C is for Color: Most moles are an even color – brown, black, tan or even pink – but changes in the shade or distribution of color throughout the mole can signal melanoma.
D is for Diameter: Moles larger the size of a pencil eraser across may be suspect

Regular examination of your skin is key to finding and treating skin cancers early.

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