Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Everything You Need to Know about Ultraviolet Radiation

 Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Everything You Need to Know about Ultraviolet Radiation

Sunshine is good for our mental health, but the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause serious damage to our bodies. Knowing how to protect yourself against UV rays can save you from experiencing skin cancer. The dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute have tips on how to protect yourself and the next steps to take if you experience sun damage or skin cancer symptoms.

What are Ultraviolet Rays?

One of the most common factors that causes skin cancer is exposure to UV rays. Skin cancer develops on the top layer of skin. The top layer of the skin is easily penetrated by the sun’s UV rays, resulting in damage such as sunburn or skin cancer. If the body cannot repair the damage from the UV rays on its own, it may result in the damage spreading and growing into a tumor. This can lead to skin cancer. There is no one way to stop skin cancer, but there are prevention methods you can use to decrease the likelihood of having skin cancer.

How to Protect Yourself Against Ultraviolet Rays

Knowing how to protect yourself against UV rays can save you from experiencing skin cancer. It is important to know that whether you can see the sun or not, it can still cause damage. Therefore, sunscreen should always be worn on exposed body parts such as the face and arms. Including applying sunscreen in your daily routine can help ensure you are protected from the sun whether it is shining or a cloudy day. If you do go outside when the sun is shining bright, remember that its most harmful rays appear from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Spending most of your time in a shaded area in addition to wearing sunscreen during these hours will help give you extra protection. As much as we try to protect ourselves, there is always a chance you are susceptible to skin cancer.

Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer

Too much sun exposure can result in a type of skin cancer called melanoma. If not diagnosed quickly, melanoma can spread and cause more damage or even death. When determining if you may or may not have melanoma, you will want to pay attention to the current moles on your body, or any new ones that appear. If they look asymmetrical or have unusual borders it may be a sign of melanoma. Additionally, if they are darker than your other moles or have evolved over time you should have them looked at by a dermatologist.

A dermatologist can diagnose your moles and then provide treatment. The most common treatment for melanoma is Mohs micrographic surgery. This surgery is quick and painless and the most effective. The dermatologist will remove the affected tissue. It is then tested for skin cancer. This process is continued until the tissue tests negative for skin cancer. After the procedure, the area is stitched up. Stitches are removed at a follow-up appointment a short while later.

If you need more information on how to protect yourself against UV rays or about the signs and symptoms of skin cancer, the dermatologists at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can help. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or thsurrounding areas, complete this form and we will be in touch.

Request an Appointment

We look forward to serving you. Please let us know who you are and what kind of skin care services you looking for, and we will be in touch to schedule your appointment.