May Is Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month | Surgical Associates of Cleveland

May is a month to celebrate all sorts of wonderful things in sunny Tennessee – like spring flowers, loving mothers, and school graduations. It’s also a month to raise awareness about skin cancer, including melanoma. Surgical Associates of Cleveland perform many surgical procedures due to skin cancer, and we’d like to share some lifestyle tips to help you reduce your risk.

Related: What is skin cancer?

Wear sunscreen every day.
Maybe sunscreen seems like a sometimes or seasonal thing, but if you really want to protect your skin, you’ll make sunscreen an everyday habit. Experts say to apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher whenever you are going to be outside–even when it’s cloudy. When we say “broad-spectrum”, we’re talking about a sunscreen that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. When applying sunscreen, you need to apply enough to cover all of your exposed skin. Most adults will need an ounce of sunscreen, which will fill a shot glass. When you’re outdoors, you should reapply your sunscreen every two hours, and also after swimming or sweating.

Master these smart moves outdoors.
On most days, the sun’s rays burn the strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If you’re outside during this time, you should seek shade any time your shadow becomes shorter than you.

We know it gets hot outside, but consider wearing lightweight clothing with long sleeves and pants whenever possible. Add a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses for a fully protective outfit. You’ll help prevent sun damage and bug bites!

Always be especially mindful of your time outdoors when you’re near water, snow or sand. All of these surfaces reflect back the harmful sun rays, which in turn increases your risk for sunburn.

Give your skin indoor TLC.
Tanning beds might seem safe because they’re not outdoors, but they still use damaging UV light. Remember, when your skin tans from any UV ray, it means your skin has been damaged. That damage grows every time you tan, speeding up the aging of your skin and raising your risk for skin cancer.

Routinely check your skin to detect skin cancer as early as possible. You’ll want to have your skin examined by a doctor if you’ve noticed any new or suspicious spots on your skin. Here’s what you should look for.

Surgical Associates of Cleveland is pleased to offer convenient and quality care for general surgery needs in our community. We perform a vast array of surgical services to treat many medical conditions. Needing surgery can certainly feel like a daunting thing, but we strive to make the experience as hassle-free as possible. Visit our website today to learn more about our services.