Skin cancer is “the most common cancer in the world,” says Alan Schliftman, MD, Chief of Dermatology at Westchester Medical Center. So common that one in five will develop it during their lifetime.
How can you protect yourself? First, know that it’s not just burns to be wary of, but tanning, too. “Your skin tans because it’s been injured,” says Schliftman. “In response, it darkens itself to try to prevent further damage.” So use sunscreen, beginning with a morning application while your skin is cool, followed by reapplications every two hours. During midday when the sun’s rays are strongest, avoid the sun entirely and wear hats, cover-ups and sunglasses. Finally, check your skin for signs of melanoma—it accounts for just four percent of cases but 79 percent of skin-cancer deaths. Advises Schliftman, “If a mole changes in symmetry, border, color or diameter, show it to your doctor or a dermatologist promptly.”
For more about Westchester Medical Center’s full range of dermatology services, go to: www.westchestermedicalcenter.com/DermatologyServices