Are you at risk for getting skin cancer?
Melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer, is on the rise in California. As a practicing dermatologist, I know this. A new study
verifies what I’ve been seeing on skin exams for years.
More Californians are getting more melanomas – no matter what their specific lifestyle or socioeconomic status is.
Melanoma is the skin cancer that forms when a melanocyte (pigment producing cell) mutates. Melanocytes are scattered in our skin and responsible for our skin color. Melanocytes make a “tan” on exposure to the sun. They clump in bunches (nests) in our moles. Melanoma usually looks like an irregular mole, but not always.
Check it out. Every human is at risk for melanoma.
Certain characteristics indicate higher risk such as fair skin, many moles, and a history of childhood sunburns among other risk factors. That said, everyone benefits from full skin exams.
A full skin exam done by a Board Certified Dermatologist will help give insight into your risk factors
During your exam, ask your dermatologist to explain the spots on your skin so you begin to learn.
Did you know that we all have different patterns to our moles?
We also have other spots on our skin like scars, angiomas, age spots, freckles, etc. You see your skin daily and are the best person to detect worrisome changes. Getting to know the unique characteristics of your skin spots is important. And loved ones are helpful for looking over our backs.
Did you know that most melanoma cancer does not form from one of your moles?
Click here to learn more about the signs of melanoma that I teach my patients to recognize.
You will also learn how to lower the risk of getting melanoma for yourself and your loved ones.
Summer has just ended, and this is the best time of year to schedule your full exam. In my 30 years of dermatology practice, I always detect more skin cancer during this time. Early detection changes everything.
Skin cancers that might be horrible down the line are often merely inconvenient when we catch them early.
If you live near our office, click here to schedule an annual full skin exam
Remember, while we don't know every aspect of why a melanocyte becomes a melanoma cancer cell, we do know UV exposure plays a role.
Be certain that your skin is sun-protected. I tell all my patients to wear a good mineral zinc sunscreen on uncovered/sun exposed skin 365 days a year to lower their risk of melanoma.
This recommendation also helps slow and even halt sun damage to skin (i.e. wrinkles, uneven pigment, skin thinning).
To help readers learn about our key products, we have a weekly Featured Product campaign.
This week, our Featured Product is EltaMD UV Daily Sunscreen
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valid from 12:00 p.m. Monday, October 2, 2017 until 12:00 p.m. PST October 9, 2017 to try this popular sunscreen and protect your skin!
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Reference: Clarke Christina A, et. al., Continued increase in melanoma incidence across all socioeconomic status groups in California, 1998-2012, JID, 2017 Jul 20; (EPub Ahead of Print) http://www.jidonline.org/article/S0022-202X(17)31867-5/pdf