Dear Savvy Derm Diva,
My 45-year-old Uncle had recently passed from Melanoma, and I am heartbroken and scared. What do I need to do to protect myself?
Scared of Skin Cancer, Tom P.
Dear Scared of Skin Cancer,
I am incredibly sorry for your loss. Thank you for reaching out, as it is always essential to create awareness as Melanoma treatment can be successful if caught early. Cutaneous Melanoma is the most common cancer in the US and is highly preventable but can be very aggressive, so one must always be vigilant for new growths. Monitor existing moles for any change, and be mindful of Melanoma showing up in areas where the sun does not shine. The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is a great resource, and they raise critical funds to support melanoma patients and their families.
Diva Tip: I am honored to be part of the MRF Derm-Fluencer campaign in May and do an IG LIVE on May 23rd at 4:30 pm CST. Please join the conversation to learn more about Melanoma and how to protect yourself. My husband has been diagnosed with TWO melanomas within five years, and he is doing fine because of early detection. Getting annual mole exams and doing self-exams monthly can save your life! Please make an appointment with your Board Certified Dermatologist and schedule an exam with them or their Derm PA.
Dear Savvy Derm Diva,
I always wear sunscreen when I am outdoors but always get a sunburn. How do I prevent this from happening? Am I doing something wrong?
Wanting to Prevent Sunburns, Paula W.
Dear Wanting to Prevent Sunburns,
The best way to prevent sunburns is to use enough sunscreen and reapply it to sun-exposed areas every 1-2 hours or after sweating or swimming. My favorite adjunct to the sunscreen is UPF50 (Ultraviolet Protective Clothing) from Coolibar to give you the added protection without reapplying to chronically exposed areas such as the shoulders, back, arms, and legs. They have a plethora of adorable clothing for women, men, and children and are 98% effective against UV radiation. Unfortunately, approximately 90% of skin cancers result from UV radiation, and you must protect yourself daily.
Diva Tip: To learn more, The Skin Cancer Foundation has excellent recommendations and information on protecting yourself with sunscreen and sun-protective clothing.
Renata Block, MMS, PA-C, is the creator of Savvy Derm Diva, an online resource for proper skincare. Ask Savvy Derm Diva is a monthly column answering your skincare-related concerns! Make sure you follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! You can make an appointment with her via TeleMedicine or in person at Advanced Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine, LLC, or TEXT to 847-802-9667.