PROTECT YOUR SKIN MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. As temperatures rise and outdoor activities increase, it’s important to be mindful of sun safety awareness not just over the holiday, but throughout the year.
“It is important to be proactive and take preventative steps against skin cancer. Skin problems shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you have a sunburn that is blistering or abnormal changes or growth of a mole, you should visit a Patient First Urgent Care to be examined” says Dr. Paul Wu, Patient First Medical Director.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year. Whether you are headed to the beach or the backyard, protect your family from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. The following tips can help:
- Always use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF, even when it is cloudy. Reapply at least every two hours.
- Avoid uninterrupted sun exposure between 10am and 4pm whenever possible.
- Cover up when you can with long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- Hats are fine, but remember baseball caps won’t protect your ears and neck from the sun.
Sun damage occurs even when you are not actively trying to soak up a few rays. It also accumulates. Whether you are walking the dog or mowing the lawn, sun damage adds up over time. Newborns and children are especially sensitive to the sun’s rays. Protecting their skin is crucial.
It’s important to be on the lookout for the more dangerous effects of sun exposure: skin cancers, including melanomas. Here are the A, B, C’s and D’s of determining if a skin lesion could be a melanoma, or a non-cancerous mole.
A = Asymmetry – If a line is drawn through the center of the mole, the halves would not match.
B = The Border of the mole is irregular.
C = The Color of the mole is uneven with shades of brown, black, tan, red, white, and/or blue.
D = Change in the Diameter of the mole.
If any mole is of concern, whether it meets the above criteria or not, you should seek the advice of your health care provider.
All Patient First Medical Centers are open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Memorial Day and every day of the year. Patient First physicians are available to discuss these and other sun safety tips. Please contact Victoria Soriano at (571) 340-1594 or email [email protected] for in-person or virtual Zoom interviews