Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. But it’s also important to take extra care of your skin as you soak up the sun’s rays.
The sun’s rays can be harmful if you don’t protect your skin from them. Skin cancer can be hard to detect because there are many different types, which often look different on the skin.
The best way to protect yourself is by wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and staying out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest. If you have to be outside during those hours, try to find shade or wear a hat, sunglasses and long sleeves.
Skin cancer warning signs
- If you notice any changes in your skin, see your doctor for an exam right away:
- A mole that looks different from others on your body (for example, if it looks different from what it did just a few months ago)
- A mole that has irregular borders or is changing in color (for example, going from tan to dark brown)
- A sore that doesn’t heal within four weeks.
- A scar that is growing, has an unusual appearance or bleeds easily.
- A wart-like growth on your skin, which can be smooth or rough, firm or soft and may contain hair.
Here are some other facts about skin cancer:
The majority of melanomas appear on areas of your body that have been exposed to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or tanning beds. The most common site for these cancers is on your back or legs. Melanomatosis refers to tumors that involve multiple areas of your body; these tumors tend to grow quickly and spread rapidly through your lymph nodes and blood vessels.