Here in the southern Nevada desert, we’re pretty familiar with the sun – but it’s about more than bright days and tanning.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined. In Nevada, men are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with melanoma, the most severe form of skin cancer, than women. Clark County is in the highest segment of counties receiving large amount of ultraviolet radiation per day, meaning a daily skin protection routine is incredibly important. This year alone, 770 Nevadans will be diagnosed with melanoma, along with thousands more diagnoses of basal and squamous cell carcinomas, skin cancers starting in the upper or lower parts of the skin’s top layer.
As summer approaches, it’s important to brush up on ways to keep your skin safe from those sunny rays. June and July are the strongest months for sun exposure in Las Vegas, so now is the right time to make sure you’re ready.
Reapply a broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every two hours. Putting on sunscreen isn’t a one-and-done for the day, especially if you’re swimming or sweating.
Take stock of your sunscreen situation. Keep it in your vehicles and most-used bags. As you’re getting prepped, take a look at expiration dates. Sunscreen must maintain their full strength for three years, but if you can’t remember when you bought that bottle, it’s probably time to restock.
Make sure everyone in your group wearing sunscreen. Kids, their friends, that one guy who thinks he doesn’t need it – everyone needs sunscreen. Make sure to have some on hand and pass around as a requirement, not an option. About 23% of lifetime sun exposure happens before kids are 18, so being vigilant about sunscreen use really does have lifelong effects.
Avoid spending lots of time outside when UV radiation is highest. That’s typically between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Keep an eye on your skin. Evolving or itchy moles, newly appearing lesions, or darkening patches are important to notice, track, and have checked by a medical professional.
Skin cancer is highly treatable if caught early. If you’re concerned about an element of your health, get off the internet and talk to a healthcare provider. Call (702) 463-4040 to schedule an appointment with Roseman Medical Group. Our providers are dedicated to delivering compassionate, patient-focused, and evidence-based solutions.