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Skin Cancer Awareness

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Probity Pools offers up tips to keeping your sun safe from harmful sun rays. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and it is estimated that one person dies from melanoma every hour.

Certain skin types are at greater risk for developing skin cancer. That is why prevention and monthly self-examinations are so important.

The Skin Cancer Foundation has recommended using a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher as one part of a preventative regimen. However, sunscreen is not enough.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends the following tips to reduce risk of skin cancer:

•Seek the shade between 10 AM and 4PM
•Avoid tanning and UV tanning beds
•Cover up with clothing, a wide brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
•Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher.
•Apply 1 ounce of sunscreen every 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming in a swimming pool or excessive sweating.
•Keep newborns out of the sun.
•Examine your skin head-to-toe every month
•See a physician every year for a professional skin exam

When individuals conduct a self-exam of their skin, they should make sure to know their ABCDEs.

•Asymmetry: one half of mole doesn’t match the other
•Border: irregularity
•Color: that is not uniform
•Diameter: greater than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser)
•Evolving: size, shape or color

A mistake many homeowners make is that they think their pool enclosure will help shield them from the sun, not so much. It may make you feel cooler while enjoying your backyard swimming pool, however, the sun’s rays still can burn you. Apply that sunscreen liberally if you are lounging in your pool inside your pool enclosure.

Florida residents should take heed of these tips to help prevent the risk of skin cancer while they are outside and swimming in their backyard cholorine or salt water pool, swimming in lakes or enjoying the beach. The proper precautions can offer Floridians an opportunity to beat skin cancer and continue to enjoy the great outdoor weather Florida has to offer!