Regular Skin Checks: How to Prevent Skin Cancer

With warm weather comes more time spent in the sun, and with more time spent in the sun comes a higher risk of skin cancer. As you are exposed to the sun, take measures to prevent and spot skin cancer. Our dermatology providers perform regular skin checks on patients to detect skin cancer, but a patient is able to perform skin checks at home as well. Skin cancer that is found earlier tends to be more easily treated and more curable. Read more about the different types of skin cancer, plus how to spot and prevent them.

Regular Skin Checks

Many doctors recommend your first skin check is done by a dermatologist to make sure the exam is as thorough as possible. Then, you will be able to do a monthly skin check on yourself. The easiest way to do this check is after a bath or shower, using a wall or hand mirror. Take note of any dark spots that are atypical in shape or size. Along with your monthly self checks, you should also schedule an annual skin check performed by your dermatologist.

Types of Skin Cancer

When you are doing your regular skin check, look out for these types of skin cancer:

  • Basal cell carcinoma- BCC usually appears as a flesh-colored bump or a pink patch.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma- SCC usually looks like a red bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and reopens.
  • Melanoma- Melanoma typically forms in a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot. It is the deadliest type of skin cancer.

Early diagnosis of all three kinds helps prevent the skin cancer from spreading and causing any more damage. Regular skin checks are crucial in the early detection of any cancer so that a dermatologist can diagnose and treat it.

Skin Cancer Prevention

One of the simplest actions you can take to prevent skin cancer is applying sunscreen daily. If your skin has been exposed to the sun without protection, you have a higher chance of developing skin cancer. Our practice recommends the daily use of EltaMD or SkinCeuticals sunscreens to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. EltaMD sunscreens are noncomedogenic, sensitivity-free, fragrance-free and paraben-free. Their products serve as an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen. Learn more about their products here.

The best way to prevent skin cancer is through regular skin checks, by you and your dermatologist, as well as wearing sunscreen. Schedule an appointment with us for your annual skin check.