Characteristics of persons with increased risk of skin cancer:
- Spends many hours outdoors;
- Has fair skin and light-colored hair. Redheads and blondes are also more at risk than those with dark hair;
- Doesn’t tan easily, but freckles or burns first; and
- Has many moles.
Here are some ways to protect against the harmful effects of the sun:
- Wear clothing that doesn’t let much visible light through to your skin;
- Wear sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, which blocks 93 percent of burning UV rays. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent;
- Wear a wide-brim hat;
- Wear sunglasses rated for blocking 99 or 100 percent of UV;
- Limit exposure to the sun from the hours of 10:00am to 2:00pm.
Early warning signs:
- A spot on your skin that changes in size, color or shape over a period of one month to one or two years;
- A red scaly patch that is visibly outlined;
- A wax-like pale pearly knob;
- A sore that doesn’t heal; and
- The most serious, melanoma, often begins as a small growth that looks like a mole. If you find an unusual skin change, see a medical professional.
Examine your body regularly because if you detect it early, skin cancer can almost always be cured.