Doctors urge routine skin screenings

May 7, 2012
Doctors urge routine skin screenings
20% of Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime, experts warn.

(HealthDay) -- Adults and children should be screened routinely for changes in the appearance of their skin, experts advise.

Mount Sinai Medical Center researchers point out that regular visits to the dermatologist are just as important as trips to the dentist because they can provide clues as to what's going on outside as well as inside the body.

One in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime, the Mount Sinai doctors cautioned. Although skin cancer is one of the most common , it's also one of the most preventable, they noted in a center news release.

In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Melanoma Day on Monday, May 7, the experts offered the following advice on skin cancer prevention:

  • Wear sunblock. Almost half of all occurs between the ages of 19 and 40 years. Sunblock should be applied to the body, around the eyes, lips, ears and feet everyday year-round. Dermatologists can recommend sunscreen for infants and sensitive areas, such as the eyelids or face.
  • Do not sunbathe. It may take between 10 and 20 years for the damage to show up, but the sun's rays dissolve the collagen and elastin in your skin.
  • Perform monthly self-checks. Monitor your brown spots, such as moles and freckles. If you have many of these spots, consult your dermatologist about total body photography. This preventative measure can help closely track the appearance of your spots to determine if they've changed over time.
  • Follow the ABCDEs. Consult a dermatologist if a mole has any of the following: Asymmetry (one side is different from the other); Border irregularity; (one area is a different shade or color than another); Diameter equal to or larger than a pencil eraser; Elevation (it is raised or has an uneven surface)
Sunscreens will have new U.S. Food and Drug Administration-mandated labels beginning June 18, the experts noted. So, when looking for sunscreen, be sure its label has the following:
  • Provides "broad-spectrum protection," or UVA as well as UVB coverage measured by the given sun-protection factor (SPF) value.

  • "SPF 30" (or higher). Being protected by SPF 30 means it will take 30 minutes of sun exposure to get the same amount of UV light penetration as you would get in just one minute with unprotected skin. The Mount Sinai specialists noted anything lower than SPF 30 will have the following label warning: "Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to prevent sunburn, not or early skin aging."
  • "Water-resistant." The new FDA rules prohibit any sunscreen from being labeled as "waterproof." Those marked "water-resistant" have been shown to pass a standard 40- or 80-minute test of water exposure followed by UV testing.

Explore further: Preventing the skin cancer, not just the sunburn

More information: The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about skin cancer.

Related Stories

Preventing the skin cancer, not just the sunburn

March 14, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- With the first day of spring just one week away, anyone who spends time in the sun should be aware of new sunscreen regulations designed to help prevent skin cancer.

UK advice on sun creams 'not in the interests of public health,' warns DTB

June 1, 2011
The strength of sun cream recently recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to stave off sunburn is far too low and "not in the interests of public health," warns the Drug and Therapeutics ...

High SPF sunscreens assure protection from solar rays

April 17, 2012
(HealthDay) -- An application of water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 70 or higher adequately protects people against skin cancer and photodamage even when applied irregularly, according to a study ...

Recommended for you

Targeted antibiotic use may help cure chronic myeloid leukaemia

September 19, 2017
The antibiotic tigecycline, when used in combination with current treatment, may hold the key to eradicating chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) cells, according to new research.

Brain powered: Increased physical activity among breast cancer survivors boosts cognition

September 19, 2017
It is estimated that up to 75 percent of breast cancer survivors experience problems with cognitive difficulties following treatments, perhaps lasting years. Currently, few science-based options are available to help. In ...

Bone marrow protein a 'magnet' for passing prostate cancer cells

September 19, 2017
Scientists at the University of York have shown that a protein in the bone marrow acts like a 'magnetic docking station' for prostate cancer cells, helping them grow and spread outside of the prostate.

Brain cancer breakthrough could provide better treatment

September 19, 2017
A new discovery about the most common type of childhood brain cancer could transform treatment for young patients by enabling doctors to give the most effective therapies.

Researchers compose guidelines for handling CAR T cell side effects

September 19, 2017
Immune-cell based therapies opening a new frontier for cancer treatment carry unique, potentially lethal side effects that provide a new challenge for oncologists, one addressed by a team led by clinicians at The University ...

A new paradigm for treating transcription factor-driven cancers

September 18, 2017
In the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital describe a new paradigm for treating transcription factor-driven cancers. The study focuses on Ewing ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.