The number of people affected by melanoma, the most deadly skin cancer in the United States, is consistently rising. It is commonly diagnosed in people under age 30. Dr. Hui Tsou, dermatopathologist and assistant medical director of Acupath Laboratories, offers five tips that skin care professionals can share with clients to help detect melanoma while it is still treatable.
1. Skin Examinations – Clients should have annual physicals performed by a professional and should perform a self-examinations every month.
2. Individual Risk – Clients who know they are more susceptible to sunburns or have fair skin, light-colored hair, a large number of moles, or a family history of skin cancer have a greater chance of developing skin cancer.
3. Applying Sunscreen – It is said again and again, but applying sunscreen is crucial. Clients should apply sunscreen daily and should put it on more often when exposed to the sun for a longer period of time, such as when they go to the beach.
4. Indoor Tanning Beds – Advise clients to never use indoor tanning beds. Studies have shown that practicing indoor tanning before age 35 increases the risk of getting melanoma by 75 percent.
5. Sunburns – A sunburn is a sign that the skin has been exposed to too much ultraviolet radiation, increasing the risk of skin cancer development. Clients can avoid getting sunburnt by applying sunscreen daily and staying out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.