Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer

tips for preventing skin cancerNew York City and Manhattan, NY

Cooler temperatures remind us that dog days of summer are over, but that doesn’t mean you should skip wearing sunscreen until spring break arrives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. The scary part about skin cancer is that many people are unaware that they have it since it doesn’t present noticeable symptoms until the later stages. Sadly, survival rates related to skin cancer are dependent upon how early it is detected and treated, as well as the type.

Drs. Debra Wattenberg and Ilyse Lefkowicz, board-certified dermatologists in NYC have some tips to share with you on how to prevent skin cancer.

One of the biggest misconceptions about preventing skin cancer is that sunscreen alone is enough. That isn’t true! There are other protocols you and your family should follow, and when used as a combined effort, your risk of skin cancer drastically decreases. So, whether you are celebrating Christmas by cruising around the Caribbean or hitting the ski slopes this winter, here are some additional tips you can implement to protect yourself against developing skin cancer.

  • Avoid being out in the direct sun during the hottest part of the day, which is between 10 AM and 4 PM (this tip is especially helpful if you plan on heading south during the winter)
  • Avoid getting a sunburn (on the sand or in the snow, it can happen)
  • Skip the tanning beds
  • Wear protective clothing that has UV-blocking capabilities, including a hat and sunglasses
  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 daily (use a higher SPF during extended outdoor activity)
  • Reapply sunscreen regularly after swimming or sweating
  • Perform a self-check monthly
  • See your Manhattan dermatologists yearly for a skin cancer exam

Self-checks and the ABCDE Rule

Many people understand the importance of self-checks but aren’t sure what they are looking for and when to be concerned. When it comes to self-checks, keep these rules in mind and contact your Manhattan dermatologist if you notice anything unusual on your skin.

  • A – Asymmetry – Growths that are asymmetrical or oddly shaped.
  • B – Borders – Spots or growths with irregular borders.
  • C – Color – Spots that are unusual in color (such as red, blue, or white).
  • D – Diameter – Any spots larger than a pencil eraser.
  • E – Evolving – Any moles or spots that have changed in size, texture, color, or that are uneven, itching, crusting, or bleeding.

You should see a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening in Manhattan if you find any spots that fall under the above categories. If the spot turns out to be skin cancer, we offer cutting-edge treatments to provide patients with the best long-term outcomes. Treatment will vary, depending on the severity of the abnormality. Remember not only to wear sunscreen daily, but to implement our other tips to help reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

Advanced Skin Cancer Testing in Manhattan

At NY Skin RX, our dermatologists have a keen eye, paired with their excellent training and expertise, at identifying skin abnormalities and can offer the best treatment for patients. If you would like to learn more about getting a skin cancer evaluation or to discuss treatment options, please contact NY Skin RX by calling (212) 288-3200 to schedule a consultation.

NY Skin RX serves the New York City areas of Manhattan and the Upper East Side.

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