May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and though the winter left us yearning for sunlight, here are some tips to enjoy the sunlight responsibly.
- Not all sunscreen is created equal. Use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher each day to protect against all harmful rays. We recommend PCA Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum 45 SPF. It contains a sheer zinc oxide and can be applied under makeup. We also recommend Avene Mineral High Protection tinted compact SPF 50.
- Water, snow and sand reflect sunlight, which increases the chance of getting burned significantly. Wear higher SPF sunscreen, a protective hat and clothing for these environments.
- Follow the ABCDEs to self examine for skin cancer:
Asymmetry — Is half the mole different from the other half?
Borders — Are moles irregular, scalloped or poorly defined?
Color — Are moles shades of tan and brown/black? Sometimes moles turn white, red or blue.
Diameters — Are they the size of a pencil eraser or larger?
Evolving — Has the mole or skin lesion changed in size, shape or color?
Make sure to keep your physician informed of any changes or concerns.
Rick Smith, MD
1504 E Grand River Ave # 100, East Lansing