Blue Ridge Dermatology Associates is committed to educating our patients on sun safety and skin cancer prevention. When it comes to skin cancer, early detection is key. For this reason, we recommend yearly skin exams in our office. Additionally, we recommend patients do monthly skin checks at home as well as practice sun safety on a daily basis, especially during the months of March through October when the sun is at its strongest.
Skin Cancer Prevention Educational Tips
Please take a moment to read our skin cancer prevention educational tips below. If you have questions regarding our recommendations, please request an appointment to meet with a dermatologist. Our dermatologists are experts in sun safety and would welcome the opportunity to discuss skin cancer prevention education with you on a more personal level.
- Apply sunscreen daily (minimum of 30 SPF)
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours while in the sunlight or immediately after sweating or swimming
- Do not allow your skin to burn
- Avoid tanning
- Avoid the use of UV tanning beds
- Wear protective clothing, hats, and UV-blocking sunglasses
- Seek shade where available
- Limit sun exposure during peak hours of 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
- Keep babies under 6 months of age out of the sun and covered appropriately (protective clothing, hats, etc.)
Common Types of Skin Cancer
Prevention of skin cancer is our goal. However, it is important to understand what skin cancer looks like and be able to identify areas of concern. As a part of our skin cancer prevention education, we have highlighted the most common types of skin cancers and their identifying symptoms. Please contact our office immediately if you have symptoms of the following skin cancers:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): BCC patients often notice a translucent, red, pink, or shiny bump, pink lesions with raised borders and a crusty center, a raised reddish patch of crusty or itchy skin, or a yellow, white, or waxy area with a border that is poorly defined and gives the appearance of a scar.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): An open sore that persists for weeks, a raised growth with a rough surface and an indented center, and scaly red patches with irregular borders are all signs of SCC.
- Actinic Keratosis (AK): Symptoms of AK include a dry, rough, or scaly patch of skin that is less than 1 inch in diameter, burning or itching in the affected area, a flat or slightly raised bump on the top layer of skin, a hard surface that resembles a wart, and pink, red, brown, or flesh-colored skin.
- Melanoma: Melanoma patients are likely to find a mole that bleeds or changes in size or color, a brown spot with darker speckles, a lesion with an irregular border or with portions that are blue, white, pink or red.
If it is time for your yearly skin exam, or if you have questions regarding skin cancer prevention, we invite you to visit our office. Our expert dermatologists are committed to educating patients on best practices for protecting their skin from the sun. Request an appointment today or read our blog for more skin cancer prevention educational tips.