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This year, it is estimated that more than one million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer, and more than 60,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Johns Hopkins dermatologists provide extensive evaluations of the skin. While Johns Hopkins scientists are discovering new ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent skin cancers, there are several proactive steps that our experts suggest to help reduce the risk of getting this disease.

Sun Safety Tips

Sunscreen: Slather it on! Apply sunscreen, with an SPF 30 or higher, liberally and frequently. Remember that sunless tanning products do not contain enough sunscreen to be protective.

Sunbathers beware: Exposure to the sun for long periods can increase your risk of developing a skin cancer dramatically, especially during the sun’s peak hours of 10 am – 3 pm. So-called “base” tans do not offer protection from burns, nor do they extend the time-to-burn.

Stay away from tanning beds and sun lamps: There is no safe type of UV radiation, despite manufacturer’s claims. These devices also can impair vision and age the skin prematurely.

Screen your skin: Do you have a funny-looking mole or a history of skin cancer in your family? Melanoma can appear anywhere on the skin’s surface – even on normal-appearing skin. Remember the ABCDE’s of skin cancer:

  • A: Asymmetric
  • B: Borders that are irregular
  • C: Color that is unusual or varied
  • D: Diameter that is large or changing and,
  • E: Evolving or changing moles.

Have a dermatologist evaluate any skin irregularity with these features or any spots on your skin that seem out of the ordinary.


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