Know Your ABCs…

 

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 Something as simple as the proper use of sunscreen can all but eliminate the risk of sunburn and skin damage, reducing the risk of developing skin cancer.  Silly as it may sound, knowing how and how often to apply sunscreen is important for you and your family’s wellbeing.

 

Apply Sunscreen Generously

The biggest trouble people get into with sunscreen is not using enough and missing spots. Cover every part of your body that is exposed to the sun with sunscreen, including your ears, back of your neck, toes and any exposed area without hair.

 

Apply Sunscreen at least 30 Minutes before Sun Exposure

Most sunscreens don’t hit their maximum protection until 30 minutes after you apply them.  Put on the first coating of sunscreen before putting on your or your kid’s swimsuits.

 

Reapply Sunscreen Throughout the Day

Even when you’re wearing a high SPF sunscreen, you need to reapply it every two hours.  If you’re swimming or sweating, reapply sunscreen even more often; no sunscreen is truly waterproof.  Teach kids the importance of using sunscreen early by modeling positive behavior yourself and involve them in applying their own correctly.

 

Your Sunscreen Does Go Bad

Believe it or not, sunscreens have expiration dates.  Toss anything that’s past its prime.  It won’t likely provide any protection and you could end up with a terrible, cancer-causing burn.

 

 

How to Recognize Skin Cancer

If skin cancer is detected early, through self-examination, it is usually fairly easy to treat.  Perform a monthly self-examination and if you have any question or even suspicion, talk to your health care provider immediately.

Everyone’s got little birthmarks, freckles, “age” spots or moles.  Sometimes these might be mistaken for skin cancer.  Here’s a tried and true method for conducting your self-examination … follow the A B C D E method from the American Cancer Society.   Any questions?  Talk to your doctor immediately.

 

 

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Left untreated, Malignant Melanoma can kill you.  If you ever find yourself questioning what something on your skin might be, don’t wait, ask your health care practitioner.