SARASOTA- Every hour, one person in the US dies from Melanoma, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. During Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Dermatologists are urging people to use prevention methods on Melanoma Monday.
Florida has the second highest rate of melanoma cases in the nation. Dr. Jennifer Trent says in the Sunshine State everyone should be trying to prevent it.
“Everyone should wear sunscreen every single day in Florida,” Dr. Trent said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s cold out or rainy, or cloudy, or foggy the UV is still high.”
Sun burns and sun exposure are the number one risk factor for melanoma, along with fair skin, genetics, and a weak immune system.
Dr. Trent says if you’re planning to be outside plan your protection.
Dr. Trent recommends a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50, she says that will block out close to 98% of UV rays.
“It’s sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, it’s the use of proper-UV protective sunglasses, UPF clothing, a combination of all of these can help you go outside and still have fun, but prevent melanoma and protect your skin a well.”
Early detection of melanoma is key in being able to treat it. Catching it means knowing your body. Dr. Trent recommends the warning sign A, B, C’s.
“A is for Asymmetry,” Dr. Trent said. “So, if you drew and imaginary line through the mole would they be mirror images of each other. If they’re not then the legion is Asymmetric, you want to look at borders, are the borders irregular, ill-defined jaggedly looking? That’s suspicious.”
Dr. Trent says you should perform full-body skin checks once a month.
“C is for colors, has it changed color or is it getting different colors within the legion itself,” Dr. Trent said. “D is for diameter, we don’t go a lot by that because we know now that melanomas can be as small as two millimeters.”
If you see a change, get it checked by a dermatologist.
“E, which is evolving, have you noticed a change in size, shape color,” Dr. Trent said.