Skin Cancer Prevention information at Chagrin Valley Dermatology

Chagrin Valley Dermatology 25
Three types of skin cancer to look for.

By Aziza Wahby, D.O., Chagrin Valley Dermatology

Let’s talk skin cancer. There are three main types. Basal cell is the most common in humans, melanoma is the most dangerous, with the potential to metastasize or spread, and then there’s squamous cell carcinoma.

Yearly skin exams are extremely important because skin cancer is not always obvious to the untrained eye. Dermatologists can use a dermoscopy, a tool used to look just below the surface of the skin, to look for suspicious features in lesions or confirm they are benign.

Here are a few other tips to remember:

• Avoid sun exposure during times of day and/or year with the highest intensity, usually 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., April to September.

• Wear sunblock with an SPF of at least 30. Lotions are preferred because they offer more protection and you can control the amount you put on. The biggest mistake with sprays is not using enough. Whether it’s spray or lotion, be sure to reapply every two hours or every time you come out of the water.

• To reduce irritation and allergy risk, stick to sunblock without chemicals. Physical sun blockers are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These sunblocks, also called mineral sunscreens, sit on top of the skin rather than absorbing into it. They create a barrier that reflects the sun’s UV rays that cause sun burns and damage to the skin.

• Avoid tanning beds. They increase the risk of skin cancer exponentially.

Be sure to see a board-certified dermatologist yearly for your skin checks or other dermatologic concerns.

Chagrin Valley Dermatology is located at 7185 Chagrin Road, Suite B, in Chagrin Falls. To schedule an appointment, call 440-999-3035 and check the website, ChagrinValleyDerm.com.