Minimizing Your Risk of Melanoma
November 21, 2016
Melanoma, known as the deadliest form of skin cancer, is typically derived from a mole that begins to grow and alter in appearance. There are reportedly 75,000 cases of melanoma and 9,000 melanoma-related deaths in the U.S. each year.
So what steps can you take to minimize your risk of melanoma?
Luckily for us, MD Hooman Khorasani (Chief of the Division of Dermatologic and Cosmetic Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai) is here to help!
First off, Khorasani notes that it is important to limit your sun exposure as much as possible, especially when UV rays are strongest from 10am-2pm.
In addition, it’s a good idea to wear sun protective clothing made with UV protective fabric when outdoors.
Finally, it’s important that whenever you are out in the sun to use sunscreen regularly. Make sure that your sunscreen has an spf rating of 30 or higher for maximum protection!
If you do however find a mole or growth on your skin that seems suspicious, use the A, B, C, D, Es of melanoma warning signs to better monitor it.
A = Asymmetry
Make sure that your mole is symmetric. If you draw an imaginary line down the center the shape to the right should match the left.
B = Border
You want the border of your mole to be smooth, rather than irregular or jagged.
C = Color
Your mole should be pretty much the same color throughout. If there are different pigments of color within the mole or near the center, you should have it checked out.
D = Diameter
If the mole is larger than 6mm in diameter (the size of a pencil eraser), you should get it checked out.
E = Evolving
Finally, if you find that the mole is changing in any way (getting bigger, changing color, etc.), you should have it looked at.
It’s important to keep these preventative measures in mind when shielding your skin from UV rays and when checking for moles or sunspots!