It’s summertime! That means family BBQs, dips in the pool and an increase in sun exposure. While hats, sunglasses and sunscreen go a long way toward protecting you, the use of those items alone does not prevent you from developing skin cancer. In fact, 20 percent of Americans develop skin cancer in their lifetime,1 making it the most common cancer in the United States.2
Who is at risk for skin cancer?
Skin cancer is the result of mutations in the skin cells that cause them to grow out of control. Those who have skin that burns easily, blond or red hair, a history of excessive sun exposure or a history of skin cancer3 are at greatest risk of developing skin cancer.
If any of these risk factors are applicable to you, Dermatologist Dr. Michael Trauner recommends that you schedule an appointment for a full skin exam every six to twelve months.
“I recommend regular skin checks to aid in earlier detection as an important way for patients to stay healthy and possibly avoid more serious and involved treatments. Outside of routinely scheduled office exams, we should all be performing at-home self-skin exams as well.” – Michael Trauner, MD
What should you look for?
While performing a self-skin examination, be mindful of the following warning signs:
- Skin growths that increase in size.
- Lesions that appear pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black or multicolored.
- Moles or birthmarks that change color, texture, size or shape.
- Sores that do not heal within three weeks or are continually itchy, painful, crusty or bleeding.
If you notice any of these signs, call The Dermatology Center at SacENT at (916) 696-6071 to schedule a skin exam immediately. Let our expert dermatologists help you ensure the continued health of your skin this summer.
- Stern RS. Prevalence of a history of skin cancer in 2007: Results of an incidence-based model. Arch Dermatol. 2010; 146(3): 279-82.
- Guy GP, Thomas CC, Thompson T, Watson M, Massetti GM, Richardson LC. Vital signs: Melanoma incidence and mortality trends and projections – United States, 1982-2030. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015; 64(21):591-596.
- American Cancer Society. Cancer facts & figures 2017. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2017.