As someone who loooooves the sun, I know the importance of being on the lookout for skin cancer. Even if you aren't a sun lover like I am, you still need to be vigilant - skin cancer is the world's most common cancer. As we are about to kick off my all-new free Summer Slimmer Challenge, now is the perfect time to go over ways to protect your skin this summer! The good news is that early detection can make a difference in treatment and severity, so try the following tips that the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends:
- Do a self check. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone practice a monthly self examination from head to toe. This can help you keep track of any changes to existing moles or freckles, and spot new ones as well. Because skin cancer is almost always curable if detected early, it's so important to do this step! And be sure to promptly see your doctor if you see anything unusual.
- Schedule a visit with a dermatologist. If you aren't sure how to do a self check, start with a professional: Book an appointment with a dermatologist. She can show you how to perform a self check and what to look for as you continue on your own with keeping tabs on your skin. She can also recommend products and prevention tactics tailored to your skin, so it's a win-win!
- Ask your hairdresser to keep an eye out for any changes to your scalp. You may be surprised how many people have been diagnosed through their hairdresser mentioning a mole or new spot on their scalp (or in or behind their ears). Many people in the hair industry are educated in looking for skin cancer signs, so don't be afraid to ask for them to keep an eye out, especially if you are at a higher risk for skin cancer. It's much easier for them to see your scalp than for you to spot changes!
- Practice preventive tactics. You have heard them all before, but it is worth repeating: Stay out of the sun during peak hours (usually 10am to 2pm local time); wear sunscreen, and don't forget to apply it to your hands, feet and scalp; utilize other protective elements like hats, sunglasses and long sleeves; and keep up on your self checks and doctor appointments!