Skin cancer awareness month is coming to an end – but that doesn’t mean taking care of your skin should too!
Skin cancer is America’s most common cancer with over 5 million cases each year. Many of these cases are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun. As the temperature rises and summer approaches, it’s important now more than ever to learn proper summer skin care routines and schedule your yearly skin examination. Adult & Pediatric Dermatology is dedicated to bringing awareness to the prominence of skin cancer, so we teamed up with the Portsmouth, NH Fire Department to give back to our first responders. Over the course of a few visits, Dr. Brian Connolly provided free skin cancer screenings to the entire department. During his visit, he discussed the importance of sunscreen use, how to detect early signs of melanoma, and how being exposed to hazardous chemicals can impact your skin.
Why use sunscreen daily?
- Using sunscreen helps protect our skin from invisible ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. The two types of UV rays that reach earth are UVA and UVB.
- UV rays penetrate through the clouds. Daily sunscreen provides constant protection for your skin to prevent cancer and early signs of aging.
- To protect your skin against UVB and UVA rays, look for the words “broad spectrum” on the product label. Products with minimum SPF 30 can help protect up to 97% of the sun’s harmful rays. Sunscreens containing zinc block both UVA and UVB rays.
Early signs of melanoma
- Changing mole
- Spot that looks like a new mole, freckle, or age spot, but it looks different from the others on your skin
- Spot that has a jagged border, more than one color, and is growing
- Dome-shaped growth that feels firm and may look like a sore, which may bleed
- Dark-brown or black vertical line beneath a fingernail or toenail
- Band of darker skin around a fingernail or toenail
After providing our first responders with skin examinations, the fire department was kind enough to give Dr. Connolly a tour of their facility. Check out these photos!