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Skin Cancer Awareness

May is skin cancer awareness month and it is a perfect time to learn about skin cancer and how to prevent it. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and there are two forms: melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. Melanoma is more serious but non-melanoma skin cancer is much more common. Some types of skin cancers are genetic, but the majority are due to lifestyle choices. Sun exposure and tanning beds are most frequently linked with skin cancer. It is therefore important to protect your skin by applying sunscreen every day, even if it is cold or overcast. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more with UVA and UVB protection. When outdoors, try to stay in the shade and avoid being outdoors in the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are strongest. If outdoors for long periods, reapply sunscreen every two hours and also after water exposure in a pool or large body of water. Using products such as antioxidants daily will also provide protection from the sun. In addition to causing skin cancer, sun exposure also leads to other signs of aging including fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, redness, broken capillaries, and leathery skin texture.

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