How to cut down your risks of skin cancer

MADISON, Wis.—May 25, 2021—As the weather warms up and the sun comes out, it’s important to know your risk of skin cancer that comes with ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure.

According to Dr. Jonah Fox, Medical Director for WPS Heath Solutions, minimizing your exposure to UV rays can help decrease your risk of skin cancer. UV rays come from the sun, as well as artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sunlamps.

“Easy ways to protect your skin include seeking shade when appropriate, using sunscreen and protective clothing when you’re outside, and avoiding tanning beds. For the best protection, use sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, has an SPF of 30 or higher, and is water resistant.”

Performing regular skin self-exams can help detect skin cancer early. Some of the more common ways in which skin cancer can appear include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A new, expanding, or changing growth, spot, or bump on the skin
  • A sore that bleeds and/or doesn’t heal after several weeks
  • A rough or scaly red patch, which might crust or bleed
  • A wart-like growth
  • A mole (or other spot on the skin) that’s new or changing in size, shape, or color
  • A mole with an odd shape, irregular borders, or areas of different colors

If you notice anything that concerns you during a skin self-exam, be sure to have it checked by a doctor.