Protect your Skin

Your summer plans may include hitting the beach, or just spending more time outdoors. Make sure you plan to avoid sunburn, which can increase your risk of skin cancer.

  • Seek shade, especially during midday hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), when UV rays are strongest and do the most damage.
  • Cover up with clothing to protect exposed skin. A long-sleeved shirt and long pants with a tight weave are best.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Grab shades that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
  • Rub on sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.

It’s also important to regularly check your skin for any changes or abnormalities.

When evaluating any skin changes you happen to find, use the ABCDE rule:

Asymmetry. Unlike a regular, oval or round mole, one half of a melanoma lesion doesn’t look like the other half.

Borders. Most melanomas have jagged or other uneven borders.

Color. Melanomas may be more than one color, such as brown, tan, white, pink or red.

Diameter. Most melanomas are about the size of a pencil eraser, though they can be smaller.

Evolving. This is when a mole or spot changes in size, shape or color.

If you notice any of these changes, make an appointment with your primary care provider as soon as possible.

Find a primary care provider at care.