West Houston Dermatology

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Melanoma Action Plan

Exposing ourselves to sun and tanning beds increase our risk of melanoma and other skin cancers.  As we have mentioned in our summer series of dermatology for Houston, as summer approaches, the more time you spend outside in the sun, the greater your risk for skin cancers like melanoma.  Studies indicated that sun exposure is responsible for the occurrence of nearly 2/3 of all melanomas diagnosed.  The culprit, sunburn, is typically due to the incorrect use of sunscreen and individuals often apply far less than recommended.  For the care of your skin and dermatology, Houston should know that  it is as simple as 1, 2, 3, to protect yourself from UV rays so let’s lay out a plan of action for staying safe in the sun.

  1. Be UV conscious—that means choose a sunscreen with at least 35 SPF protection against UV.  Choose UV protected lens for your shades and eyewear.  Wear makeup with an SPF factor.  Seek shade when UV rays and the sun are at its peak (10 am to 3 pm)
  2. Be prepared—liberally apply sunscreen at least 20 before getting in the sun and reapply frequently especially if encountering water.  Bring your own shade if none is available like a beach umbrella, hats, and extra clothing just in case.
  3. Be mole aware—Take a good look at any moles you might have or use a mirror if you have to.  If you have a mole that is asymmetrical, or has an uneven border and variation in color, OR if you see any changes in your moles over time, call to schedule an appointment immediately.

By preparing for your time in the sun, you can lead the fight against skin cancer.  Remember that melanoma takes lives, but if detected early, it is often curable.   So take action and know the signs.  West Houston Dermatology wants you to stay safe and have fun in the sun.