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Ask Dr. Nandi: Dermatologists encourage you to practice sun safety on 'Melanoma Monday'

Ask Dr. Nandi: Dermatologists encourage you to practice sun safety on 'Melanoma Monday'
Posted at 5:33 PM, May 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-07 17:33:45-04

You may think applying sunscreen is annoying or too much work, but you really need to protect your skin from the sun - even on cloudy days.  

That’s because the sun’s ultraviolet rays pass right through the clouds. And this exposure can increase your risk of melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.   

Using broad-spectrum sunscreens can provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays, but you need to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.  

Be sure your sunscreen has an SPF of 30 or higher.   

Also, you really want to avoid burning your skin as you can actually double your risk of melanoma if you’ve had five blistered sunburns throughout your life.  

But if you really dislike sunscreen, you can hang out in the shade instead, or wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and long-sleeve shirts and pants.  

Now the reason why we have Melanoma Monday is to raise awareness about skin cancer because more than seventy thousand new cases are diagnosed every year.  

And Melanoma can kill. But if you catch it early, it can be treated before the cancer spreads.  

So I want you to do an entire body check, because Melanoma can develop anywhere, even areas that don’t get sun exposure.

So ask a loved one or get a doctor to do a body check. Be sure to look for any new moles or moles that are changing, growing or bleeding.  

Also watch for any unusual looking growths too because Melanoma doesn’t always start off as a mole.   

If you see something, get it looked at right away – as it could mean the difference between life and death.