Skin cancer

Skin Cancer: Facts & Prevention

Skin cancer

Cary, NC — It has been a cold winter in the south! This week is Cary’s first “60’s” week in awhile, and with the warmth comes plans for picnics and beach trips. While you’re outside this season, keep your skin protected from the sun with these easy steps from Central Dermatology.

Skin Cancer: The Facts

According to Central Dermatology, new cases of skin cancer each year outnumber all other cancers combined–that’s more than 3.5 million cases detected annually.

The good news is that, if you take a few easy steps, preventing skin cancer is simple. Central Dermatology shares the following preventative measures to be proactive, not reactive, when it comes to skin protection from the sun.

Sun Protection Tips

Protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, especially during hours when UV radiation is at its peak (this is generally during late morning-late afternoon).

Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher that protects from both UVA and UVB radiation. Regardless of which SPF you use, frequency (as opposed to quantity) is the most important factor in application. Reapply sunscreen every couple of hours (sooner, if you’ve sweated or been in the water). Don’t assume that water-proof sunblock, or a thick coat of it, will last you all day.

Cover-up your skin as much as possible. Hats, especially wide brimmed styles that shade the face, ears, head and neck, are perfect for long days in the sun. No one wants to spend a day at the beach in a t-shirt, but throwing one on midday will give your skin a break from the sun.

Certain laundry additives can be added to washing machines to provide protection from the sun’s rays. One brand, Sun Guard, washes SPF 30 sun protection into everyday clothing. The protection lasts through 30 washes and blocks more than 96% of the sun’s harmful rays.

Wear sunglasses that are marked to block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Consistently wearing sunglasses, even in your car or for short periods of time, can prevent Macular Degeneration and other age-related eye issues later in life.

And, lastly, avoid indoor tanning. Indoor tanning is designed to give users high levels of UV radiation in a short time–not a good mix.

Report Any Skin Abnormalities

Skin cancer is common and, even with sun protection, issues can arise. Check your skin regularly, especially in the summer, and report any abnormalities (new bumps or moles, especially asymmetrical ones) to your dermatologist.


Sun protection tips from Central Dermatology. Photo by Mafalda Beirao.


Health coverage on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Central Dermatology, now open in Cary on Preston Executive Drive.