November is National Healthy Skin Month!
The skin is the largest organ of the body, so it’s very important to take good care of it.
The physicians of Premier Surgical in Knoxville and Cleveland, TN, want to remind you that one of the simplest yet one of the most important things to take good care of the skin is protecting it from the sun. A lifetime of exposure can increase your risk of developing age spots, wrinkles, and skin cancer.
About Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the epidermis, the outermost skin layer. This cancer is attributed to unrepaired DNA damage, causing cell mutations.
The two biggest risk factors for developing skin cancer are exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and the use of tanning machines.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of skin cancer vary, depending on the type.
Basal cell carcinoma, which usually occurs in sun-exposed areas, may appear as a flat, brown, and scar-like lesion, a pearly bump, or a scabbing sore that heals and returns.
Like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma may also occur in sun-exposed areas of your body. It may appear as a firm, red nodule or a flat lesion with a scaly or crusty surface.
For melanoma, which may occur in any part of your body, including your trunk, it may appear as a small lesion with an irregular border, a mole that changes in color or size, a painful lesion that itches or burns, or a large brownish spot with darker speckles.
Preventing Skin Cancer
Most types of skin cancer can be prevented. Protecting yourself from the harmful UV rays is one of the best ways to prevent it.
You can do that by avoiding the sun during the middle of the day or times when the sun’s rays are the strongest (between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.), wearing sunscreen all-year round, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding tanning beds.
Treating Skin Cancer
If you see any lesion or mole that looks unusual, don’t hesitate to see a specialist immediately.
Like many types of cancer, there is a better treatment outcome for skin cancer if it’s detected and treated earlier.
The physicians of Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville and Cleveland have surgeons who are well-experienced in treating skin cancer. To request an appointment, you may call us at (865) 306-5775.