SPONSORED: Dermatologists warn of skin cancer risk

Published: May. 6, 2020 at 9:23 AM CDT
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It's the body's largest organ, and it's likely most of us put it at risk in the sun everyday.

"There's more skin cancers diagnosed per year than all other cancers combined," said Dr. Christine Murphy, a dermatologist from Marshfield Clinic Health System. "One in five people in their lifetime before age 70 will develop a skin cancer."

So especially during this time of quarantine, when all most of us want is to get out and get some fresh air, dermatologists have some important reminders.

"People don't think about avoiding sun first. You know, just midday sun, between 10 and 4 when the sun is at its strongest, try to seek shade," said Dr. Murphy. "If you're going out and you're know you're going to be out for a longer period of time, SPF at least 30, and it should be broad spectrum which means UVA and UVB coverage, water-resistant ideally, and applying it 20 to 30 minutes before going out into the sun."

Dr. Murphy says protecting those kids right now is essential, because it will impact their risk for cancer later in life.

"We're seeing a lot of people now who had early sunburns when they were kids and young adults and were in the sun quite a bit, are now having a lot of skin cancer issues," said Dr. Murphy.

Along with taking preventative measures like sunscreen and finding shade, dermatologists say self skin checks are vitally important.

"The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell skin cancer," said Dr. Murphy. "Most often, that's going to present as a lesion that's just not healing, so something like a pimple that's just not going away, not healing, bleeding easily, that type of thing, or scaley spots that pop up suddenly and get thicker and sore."

"For melanoma, it's the ABCDE rule," said Dr. Murphy. "Something becoming asymmetric, change in border, change in color, change in diameter, or we've added E for evolving quickly, so even if it's a small lesion that doubles in size in a couple of months."

Keep your skin top of mind this spring and summer and you'll be able to enjoy the outdoors and stay healthy.