As we are getting into the month of May, we need to be even more aware of the risks that threaten our skin, especially those that can cause melanoma. May is national melanoma month and there is no better time to learn a few things that will save your skin from this condition.
For Caucasian people, particularly those with a fair complexion, the risk of developing melanoma and skin cancer is increased and it will first develop on the areas of skin that are the most exposed to the sun, such as the face, scalp and arms.
When it comes to the other races, African, Hispanic, Asian and others with darker skin complexions, melanomas will usually develop in less pigmented areas of their body or those areas that are less exposed to the sun (like the palms).
The “ABCD” Early Melanoma Detection
The “ABCD” System is one of the best ways to spot melanoma early. It is an acronym that stands for:
A: Asymmetry. Non-cancerous skin pigment is symmetrical and round, but when it comes to early melanoma, they are typically asymmetrical.
B: Border. Irregular borders are quite commonplace with early melanoma. Benign growths have regular margins.
C: Color. A cancerous growth will have different shades, including black, brown, tan, red, pink or white. On the other hand, non-cancerous growths are one-colored.
D: Diameter. Measure the growth and if it is about ¼ inch (6 millimeters) across, it is likely melanoma.
How to Prevent Melanoma from Happening to You
Although it is best to avoid the sun between 10 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon, this isn’t always possible for everyone. Regardless, be sure to wear a sun block cream with a rating of at least SPF30 and reapply it regularly after swimming or sweating. This is very important in the summer when you’re on the beach.
Additionally, wear clothes that will protect you from the sun’s UV rays, something with long sleeves, a broad-brimmed hat that will shade your face from the sun, as well as UV-protecting sunglasses.