Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

Are you wondering how you can protect yourself against skin cancer? 

Research from the University of Hawaii reports that 10,000 people in Hawaii will be diagnosed with skin cancer every year. That’s why it’s essential to visit our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists, Dr. Kevin Dawson, Dr. Douglas Chun, Dr. Sarah Grekin, and Dr. Erin Fuller once a year for a skin cancer screening. We also want to educate our patients on things they can start doing today to reduce their risk of developing skin cancer.

Can You Prevent Skin Cancer?

While there is no foolproof way to prevent skin cancer, there are specific measures you can take to protect your skin and lower your risk. Ways to reduce your risk for developing skin cancer include,

  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher
  • Make sure to wear sunscreen every day in all weather—rain, shine, or snow
  • Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours or immediately after sweating or swimming
  • Wear long-sleeved, full-coverage clothing that’s lightweight but has tightly woven fabrics that will provide more protection against UV rays
  • Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat
  • Avoid tanning beds
  • Limit sun exposure, particularly during the hours of 10 am-4 pm
  • Stay in the shade as much as possible when outside

What Are the Early Warning Signs of Skin Cancer?

Early detection is key to catching and treating skin cancer during its earliest stages when it’s far easier to cure.

  • Any mole that is new or has appeared suddenly, especially as an adult
  • Any mole or growth that has changed size, shape, color, or appearance
  • A growth, lesion, or mole that itches, burns, bleeds, crusts over, is red, swollen, or oozes
  • A lesion or sore that doesn’t heal
  • Any growth that is red, pink, white, blue, or black
  • A brown mole that contains black spots
  • Large moles that are bigger than a pencil eraser

While most people monitor their darker moles, you also want to look for skin-colored or waxy-looking bumps, as these could be signs of basal cell carcinoma. These growths or lesions can appear anywhere on the body but are more common in sun-exposed areas such as the ears, face, and hands.

Who Can Benefit From Annual Skin Cancer Screenings?

If you have risk factors predisposing you to skin cancer, you should turn to our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists once a year for screenings. Those with a family history of melanoma and those with a personal history of skin cancer may want to come in more regularly for screenings. Of course, even if you are at a lower risk for skin cancer, you can still benefit from coming in once a year for a screening. These screenings are quick and painless and could save your life.

Whether you notice a suspicious mole that you want to have our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists check out, or you simply want to schedule your annual skin cancer screening, call Dawson Dermatology today at (808) 599-3780 to book your next visit.

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