Reducing Your Risk of Melanoma
Protecting your skin and checking it for changes are keys to preventing melanoma or catching one in an early, treatable stage.Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays produced by the sun increases your risk of melanoma. Here’s how to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays:
- Avoid spending too much time in the sun.
- Avoid exposing your skin to the sun between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM standard time, or 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM daylight saving time.
- Protect your skin from the sun with clothing. Wear a shirt, sunglasses, and a hat with a broad brim.
- Use broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more on skin that will be exposed to the sun.
- Use a protective lip balm.
- Wear sunglasses with 99% or 100% UV absorption to protect your eyes.
- Don't use sun lamps or tanning booths.
- Get regular full-body skin exams by a dermatologist. The doctor will check for moles, freckles, and other growths.
Alberta Provincial Cutaneous Tumour Team. Prevention of skin cancer. Edmonton (Alberta): CancerControl Alberta; 2013 Feb. 27 p. (Clinical practice guideline; no. CU-014). Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=48130#Section420. Accessed October 20, 2014.
Melanoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated April 3, 2013. Accessed April 9, 2013.
Melanoma skin cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003120-pdf.pdf . Updated January 17, 2013. Accessed April 9, 2013.
Skin cancer prevention. National Cancer Institutewebsite. Available at: http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/prevention/skin/HealthProfessional . Updated February 15, 2013. Accessed April 9, 2013.
Sunscreen FAQs. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens. Accessed October 20, 2014.
- Reviewer: Mohei Abouzied, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013
- Update Date: 10/20/2014
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