Three Simple Ways To Prevent Skin Cancer


Long days at the beach; riding with the sunroof open; kids on the playground; morning coffee on the deck; mowing the yard again, and again and again– these are all signs June is here. And with June comes increased sun exposure. We all know we should take precautions to protect our skin against sun damage and skin cancer, but we don’t want to give up our outdoor activities.

Here are three simple tools to keep you safe outdoors --

—good clothing, 
a good hat and 
good sunscreen of at least SPF 30 

can cut down the risk of pre-skin cancers by 50 percent, says John Strasswimmer, M.D., Ph.D., educational spokesman for the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Look for full-coverage garments made of sun-protective materials. Strasswimmer, a Florida resident, says he jogs in a special long-sleeved shirt designed to wick away moisture and shield the sun’s rays. And don’t select hats made of loosely woven straw, or baseball caps with the old-school plastic-pinhole backs; the sun easily permeates such materials. “If you can see through the hat, the sunlight can see the top of your head,” Strasswimmer says.

Mole Watch

To recognize the warning signs of melanoma, remember ABCDE.
Asymmetry (one half is not the same size and shape as the other half)
Border (the border is irregular instead of round)
Color (if the color varies across the mole)
Diameter (melanomas are usually larger than a pencil eraser in diameter)
Evolution – changing (if you notice a mole which changes, itches or bleeds, even if it is small, see a dermatologist)

Time to have your moles “mapped?”  Also known as mole checks, this is when a dermatologist examines your skin and notes size and location of moles. This helps track if there are any changes over time. 


Visit gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/physician to find a dermatologist near you.

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