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skin care lg Skin Cancer 101  ​

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Warm, sunny days are here again,  and we all love to spend our free time basking in the sunlight.  However, too much unprotected time in the sun puts your skin at risk for premature aging and (gasp!) skin cancer. May is National Skin Cancer Awareness month,  and the best way to protect yourself aside from daily sunscreen application, is to be aware of the warning signs of skin cancer.

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Know Your Facts

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation…

-Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.

-About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and from tanning beds.

-Between 40 and 50 %of Americans who live to 65 will have either skin cancer at least once.

-Malignant melanoma is the number one cause of death from cancer in women in their 20’s to 30’s.

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Know Your ABCD’s

moz screenshot Skin Cancer 101  ​

 Skin Cancer 101  ​
Asymmetry
Usually benign moles are symmetric. A suspicious one has a half is different than the other.

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 Skin Cancer 101  ​

Border Irregularity
The edges are notched, ragged, uneven, or blurred.

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 Skin Cancer 101  ​

Color
The color is uneven. Shades of brown, tan, pink, red, blue,
and black are present.

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 Skin Cancer 101  ​

Diameter
The diameter of most malignant moles is greater than 6 mm, about the size of a pencil eraser.

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Other warning signs to watch out for:

– Sores that don’t heal
– Redness or a new swelling beyond the border of a mole.
– Changes in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness, or pain.
– Change in the surface of a mole–scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or the appearance of a bump or nodule.
-A mole that looks very different from your other moles.

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Know How to Check Your Skin

After a bath or shower, stand in front of a full length mirror in a well-lit room. Use a hand-held mirror to look at hard to see areas. Start with the face and scalp and work downward from there. Look at the front and back of your body in the mirror, then raise your arms and check your right and left sides. Check the backs of your legs and feet, toenails, soles of your feet, and between your toes. Use a hand mirror to look at the back of your neck and scalp. Carefully check your scalp by parting your hair. Turn, and  check your back, groin and buttocks.

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Checking your skin regularly allows you to become familiar with what is normal for you. It may be helpful to record the dates of your skin exams and to write notes about the way your skin looks. If you find anything unusual, schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately.

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Credits: Images courtesy of AAD.org

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Cristal 1 Skin Cancer 101  ​

Cristal

Online Editor, Beauty Writer at Beauty-Goodies
As a New York City-based registered nurse with backgrounds in pharmacology, medical research, medical spa aesthetics, and cosmetic dermatology, Cristal became interested in the ways people go about achieving beauty. When she's not working full-time at Cornell Medical Center or performing aesthetic treatments at a midtown NYC medical spa, she daylights as a beauty writer, and has a penchant for scoring sample sale treasures, bellydancing, playing dress-up, and of course, chatting about beauty goodies.

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